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2021 | OriginalPaper | Buchkapitel

The Grounds of Frugality: Policy Instruments, Limits to Technology and Growth, and the Difficult Role of the “Good Life”

verfasst von : Felix Ekardt, Jutta Wieding

Erschienen in: Transformation und Wachstum

Verlag: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden

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Abstract

This contribution analyzes the idea of frugality, which has increasingly been discussed lately. In short, frugality describes the idea of a simple life. It stands for a sustainability strategy and a vision for the future—a vision achieved through changing behavior (instead of only technology). The mainstream sustainability discourse is confronted with the question whether sustainability can be achieved by only (!) using technology. In view of interdisciplinary controversies on the empirical factors for change in societies, the next step is to ask why attempts to trigger substantial behavioral change have not been fruitful yet. Also, we will analyze in detail whether frugality is promising increased human happiness (as assumed by many). For this, we will draw from happiness and cooperation research. This question is relevant in light of the fact that frugality might (unintentionally) lead to an end of the growth-driven society as overarching development model of Western industrialized states. This would trigger immense follow-up questions for several subsystems of society. Yet, the question of the degree to which the debate on frugality must be critical with regard to capitalism is rather complex. Furthermore, we will discuss whether generally defining “the right degree”, and therefore what a “good life” entails, should be subject to state law in a post-enlightenment era. Finally, this contribution will look at the effectiveness of policy instruments.

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Metadaten
Titel
The Grounds of Frugality: Policy Instruments, Limits to Technology and Growth, and the Difficult Role of the “Good Life”
verfasst von
Felix Ekardt
Jutta Wieding
Copyright-Jahr
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-32809-2_5

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