Contributors: Rodenhäuser, Dorothee (FESt)
Scientific paper contribution 1: Controversies in Environmental and Post-Growth Discourses: Mapping positions to investigate their consequences for the development of indicators for a socio-ecological transformation
Abstract: The debate on the environment and the negative effects of economic growth has been shaped by controversies revolving around issues such as the substitutability of natural resources or the role of technology and work in a “green” economy. Depending on their respective points of view, the disputants reach very different conclusions on possible pathways towards a socially and ecologically sustainable society, translating into diffe-rences on instruments deemed appropriate. Indicators and accounting systems belong to those contested instruments. To tackle the issue of information systems in a systema-tic way, this paper proposes to start with the controversies among different approaches advocating a socio-ecological transformation . The resulting map of typical positions in longstanding controversies in the field of environmental and post-growth debates pre-pares the ground for the development of a typology of current “transformation discour-ses”. The purpose is to draw conclusions on the specific requirements for measurement systems flowing from different types of transformation discourses.
Scientific paper contribution 2: The National Welfare Index as a potential instrument for the transition towards a Degrowth society?
The paper is authored by Prof. Dr. Hans Diefenbacher and co-authored by Dorothee Rodenhäuser
Abstract: The debate on indicators ‚beyond GDP’ has considerably regained momentum in the last years. However, a majority of current indicator proposals rather seeks to complement traditional economic indicators in order to support “green” growth. Very few are directed to support a degrowth strategy, while a significant share of proposals remains ambiguous about growth. The National Welfare Index (NWI) is such an ambiguous indicator. We investigate whether indices like the NWI could nevertheless be useful instruments for a transition towards a degrowth society. In the first place, we address the question of the basic legitimacy of monetarized indices. In our second step, we shortly present the results of the NWI for Germany and its Länder applications and give an overview of the public discussion evoked. We then address the question of methodological compatibility of NWI and degrowth ideas. Following a summary of pro and contra arguments relating to the potential of NWI to support a transition towards degrowth, we conclude on ways to go ‘beyond NWI’.