Sustainable business: What should it be? Circular economy and the 'business of subversion'

Helen Kopnina*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter introduces recent non-academic assessments of the socioeconomic system that draw attention to the structural problems that consumer capitalism poses for our economy. Degrowth is a socio-political project that has a universal aim of creating societies that cooperatively exist within the limits that the ecological systems, on which we depend, can support. Whilst the term is recent, the crystallisation of this idea goes back some fifty years to the claim put forward by Georgescu-Roegen (1971) that the economic system that dominates the modern world is unsustainable because its logic of perpetual linear growth is a physical impossibility. Consumer capitalism, the strategy to maintain and expand the productivity of the industrial system immediately after the Second World War, is the economic interpretation/understanding that dominates our societies today. The dominance of the 'economic' as the hegemonic imaginary may be seen in the organisational and political responses to the Global Financial Crisis that started in 2008.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Future Beyond Growth
Subtitle of host publicationTowards a steady state economy
EditorsHaydn Washington, Paul Twomey
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781315667515
ISBN (Print)9781138953017
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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