Publications

As our work progresses, publications are arising from our research themes and cross-cutting projects. We produce working papers, journal articles, evidence submissions to government enquiries, essays, books and book chapters. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive regular updates. A list of CUSP publications to date can be accessed below. For blog posts, please see the CUSP blog.


60 Results

Nervous States: Democracy and the Decline of Reason | By Will Davies

Why do we no longer trust experts, facts and statistics? Why has politics become so fractious and warlike? What caused the populist political upheavals of recent years? How can the history of ideas help us understand our present? In this far-reaching exploration of our new political landscape, CUSP co-investigator Will Davies reveals how feelings have come to reshape our world.


Managing Without Growth—Slower by Design, Not Disaster (2nd edition) | By Peter Victor

Revised second edition of Peter Victor’s influential book. Human economies are overwhelming the regenerative capacity of the planet, this book explains why long-term economic growth is infeasible, and why, especially in advanced economies, it is also undesirable. Simulations developed with Tim Jackson, show that managing without growth is a better alternative.


Higher Wages for Sustainable Development? | Journal Paper by Simon Mair, Angela Druckman and Tim Jackson

In this paper, Simon Mair, Angela Druckman and Tim Jackson explore how paying a living wage in global supply chains might affect employment and carbon emissions: Sustainable Development Goals 8 and 13.


Investment for a sustainable and inclusive economy—Proposed changes to UK law | Report

Delivering an effective investment industry has been largely delegated by politicians to regulatory bodies, on the assumption that the measures needed have little relevance to wider social and economic issues. Charles Seaford argues that this assumption is false, and that politicians could usefully consider what may have been seen as purely technocratic issues.


The Politics of Selection | Journal Paper by Daniel Hausknost and Willi Haas

Institutions for transformative innovation need to improve the capacities of complex societies to make binding decisions in politically contested fields, a new journal paper by CUSP researcher Daniel Hausknost and his colleague Willi Haas argues, proposing the design of novel institutions that integrate expert knowledge with processes of public deliberation and democratic decision-making.


A Cultural Account of Ecological Democracy | Journal Paper by Marit Hammond

What are the political foundations of an ecologically sustainable society? Can—or must—they be democratic? Absolutely ‘yes’ Marit Hammond argues, for sustainability is a moving target that requires a reflexive cultural ethos based on democratic values.


Circularity Thinking | Book chapter by Fenna Blomsma and Geraldine Brennan

How does one determine which of the many strategies associated with circular economy are appropriate to pursue? In this chapter Fenna Blomsma and Geraldine Brennan apply systems thinking to outline four steps that aid in identifying where and why waste is being generated in the current system, and what the available circular strategies are.


LowGrow SFC: An ecological macroeconomic simulation model by Tim Jackson and Peter Victor

System dynamics model by Tim Jackson and Peter Victor, developing low carbon and sustainable prosperity scenarios for the Canadian economy out to 2067. The scenarios are not predictions of what will happen, but an exploration of possibilities. Interested readers can explore the implications for themselves in the online beta version of the model.


The Commonplaces of Environmental Scepticism | Working Paper No 17

It is nearly half a century since the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth report was published. The thesis at its core—that infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet—is a seemingly common sensical proposition. To investigate why the ‘limits to growth’ has not yet led to decisive political action, this paper examines the thought of its most explicit critics in debate, employing Wayne Booth’s ‘Listening Rhetoric’, used to understand opposing discourses on their own terms.


Post-growth thinking as a resource for a European union of sustainability | Working Paper No 15

The European Union is struggling. One-sided fixation on growth, competitiveness, deregulation and export-orientation have led Europe into deep crisis. The need for climate change mitigation, environmental protection and tackling inequality now present ever bigger challenges to the EU. Starting from a historical perspective, this CUSP paper argues, that post-growth concepts have an enormous potential to re-constitute Europe.


Creative Economy, Critical Perspectives | Cultural Trends Special Issue edited by Kate Oakley and Jon Ward

CUSP researchers Kate Oakley and Jonathan Ward are guest editors of a special edition of Cultural Trends. In exploring how the idea of the creative economy persists since the 1980s, papers engage with the topic on a social, political, economic and/or organisational level.


Energy Sufficiency—Managing the rebound effect | Report by Steve Sorrell, Birgitta Gatersleben and Angela Druckman

A new report by former SLRG colleagues Steve Sorrell, and CUSP researchers Brigitta Gatersleben and Angela Druckman examines the nature of rebound effects, and asks the question: can greater use of sufficiency policies and actions help to tackle negative rebounds, or will it create rebounds itself?


Young Lives in Seven Cities. A Touring Exhibition. | Catalogue

In each city small groups of young people, aged from 12–24, took photos or drew pictures to illustrate ‘a day in our lives’ and then discussed their images with us, focusing on what they valued and what they would like to change. A CYCLES photo exhibition is on show at The Foundry, in Vauxhall, London (until January 2019). These are their images. This is their story.


Engaging the imagination | Journal paper by Kate Oakley, Jon Ward and Ian Christie

This paper explores the potential of ‘new nature writing’ – a literary genre currently popular in the UK – as a kind of arts activism, in particular, how it might engage with the environmental crisis and lead to a kind of collective politics.


Beyond Redistribution—Confronting inequality in an era of low growth | An Economy That Works, Briefing Paper No 2

The second in our series of briefing papers on building An Economy That Works explores inequality in the UK. It examines the evidence for rising inequality over the last fifty years, estimates the economic welfare lost to society from an unequal distribution of incomes and addresses the critical question of managing inequality in the context of declining growth rates.


Which financial architecture can protect environmental commons? | Article by Nick Molho and Tim Jackson

The discourse around ‘natural capital’ potentially offers a way to integrate decisions about the commons effectively into economic decisions. Investing in the commons is key to protecting the flow of services provided to society by natural capital. Recent exploration of the potential for investing in natural infrastructure has highlighted numerous mechanisms, which could help turn this proposition into a reality.


The Post-growth Challenge: Secular Stagnation, Inequality and the Limits to Growth | Journal Paper by Tim Jackson

Sluggish recovery in the wake of the financial crisis has revived discussion of a ‘secular stagnation’. These conditions have been blamed for rising inequality and political instability. Tim Jackson contests this view, pointing instead to a steadfast refusal to address the ‘post-growth challenge’. (An earlier draft of the article was published as CUSP Working Paper No 12.)


Flow Activities as a Route to Living Well With Less | Journal Paper by Amy Isham, Birgitta Gatersleben and Tim Jackson

Research suggests that the excessive focus on the acquisition of material goods promoted by our consumer society may be detrimental to well-being. Current Western lifestyles, which promote unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, therefore risk failing to bring citizens the happiness they seek.


Sustainable value and trade-offs — Delivering sustainability in supply networks | Journal Paper by Geraldine Brennan and Mike Tennant

Conceptualising firms from a business ecosystem, value-, or supply- network perspective captures the boundary-spanning nature of value creation. To explore the relationship dynamics that enable or inhibit sustainable value creation, we present a comparative case study of how situational logics and power relations are embedded in business models within a UK brewer and its malt supply chain.


A review of EROEI-dynamics energy-transition models | Journal Paper by Craig Rye and Tim Jackson

The need for an environmentally sustainable economy is indisputable but our understanding of the energy-economy interactions (dynamics) that will occur during the transition is insufficient. This raises fascinating questions on the future of economic growth, energy technology mix and energy availability.


Protecting the Interests of Future Generations | Working Paper No 14

Even the most perfect democracy can only represent the wishes of people currently alive. But how can the interests of members of future generations be safeguarded in political systems? This paper outlines different ways in which this could be achieved through reforms to the UK political system, and then looks in more detail at examples in other countries.


Understanding the ‘New Normal’—The Challenge of Secular Stagnation | An Economy That Works, Briefing Paper No 1

This first in our series of briefing papers on building An Economy That Works explores the underlying phenomenon of ‘secular stagnation’ – a long-term decline in the rate of growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The paper examines the evidence, explores the causes and discusses the implications of what some now call the ‘new normal’.


Measuring Up – how the UK is performing on the SDGs | Report

UKSSD publishing first comprehensive assessment of the UK’s performance against the SDGs. With support from CUSP on SDG 17, highlighting a significant danger of the UK quality of life getting worse if action is not taken.


The Return of Character: Parallels Between Late-Victorian and Twenty-First Century Discourses | Journal Paper by Nick Taylor

There has been an increasingly common trend in the UK to identify character skills and traits as the basis for various individual successes and achievements. In education policy and employment services, character has been linked to the making of successful, morally aware, employable and socially mobile citizens. This article explores the late-19th-century use of character discourses, focusing on the economist Alfred Marshall.


The Future of Work—Lessons from the History of Utopian Thought | Working Paper No 13

This paper aims to contribute towards the development of a political economy of work fit for purpose in a world of social and environmental limits. In order to get beyond today’s dominant conceptions of work in a growth-based capitalism, Simon Mair, Angela Druckman and Tim Jackson explore the role of work in historical utopias.


The Post-Growth Challenge — Secular Stagnation, Inequality and the Limits to Growth | Working Paper No 12

Sluggish recovery in the wake of the financial crisis has revived discussion of a ‘secular stagnation’. These conditions have been blamed for rising inequality and political instability. Tim Jackson contests this view, pointing instead to a steadfast refusal to address the ‘post-growth challenge’.


The Energy-Emissions Trap | Journal Paper by Martin Sers and Peter Victor

The requirement to reduce emissions to avoid potentially dangerous climate change implies a dilemma for societies heavily dependent on fossil fuels. As renewable capacity requires energy to construct there is an initial fossil fuel cost to creating new renewable capacity. An insufficiently rapid transition to renewables, it turns out, will imply a scenario in which it is impossible to avoid either transgressing emissions ceilings or facing energy shortages.


Policies for Sustainable Consumption | Book chapter by Tim Jackson and Carmen Smith

Tim Jackson’s chapter in The Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Economic Behaviour has been updated for the second edition of the international, multi-disciplinary and partly new collection, edited by Alan Lewis. It summarises the challenge inherent in recent policy debates about sustainable consumption, focusing in particular on what might be involved in negotiating the kinds of lifestyle changes that are implied by the radical reductions in carbon emissions that are required to mitigate climate change.


Confronting inequality in a post-growth world – Basic income, factor substitution and the future of work | Working Paper No 11

Piketty argued that slow growth rates inevitably lead to rising inequality. If true, this hypothesis would pose serious challenges for a ‘post-growth’ society. Fiscal responses to this dilemma include Piketty’s own suggestion to tax capital assets and more recent suggestions to provide a universal basic income that would allow even the poorest in society to meet basic needs.


A Theory of Change Approach for Measuring Economic Welfare Beyond GDP | Working Paper No 10

It is widely acknowledged that GDP is not a suitable measure of economic welfare. In this paper, Simon Mair, Christine Corlet Walker and Angela Druckman propose a novel framework for indicator development: the ‘Theory of Change’ approach — a causal model approach in which the relationships between system inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes of the economy are explicitly articulated, and can be used to identify theoretically sound indicators for economic welfare.


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