The publisher about the book: The future of economic growth is one of the decisive questions of the twenty-first century. Alarmed by declining growth rates in industrialized countries, climate change, and rising socio-economic inequalities, among other challenges, more and more people demand to look for alternatives beyond growth. However, so far these current debates about sustainability, post-growth or degrowth lack a thorough historical perspective.
This edited volume brings together original contributions on different aspects of the history of economic growth as a central and near-ubiquitous tenet of developmental strategies. The book addresses the origins and evolution of the growth paradigm from the seventeenth century up to the present day and also looks at sustainable development, sustainable growth, and degrowth as examples of alternative developmental models. By focusing on the mixed legacy of growth, both as a major source of expanded life expectancies and increased comfort, and as a destructive force harming personal livelihoods and threatening entire societies in the future, the editors seek to provide historical depth to the ongoing discussion on suitable principles of present and future global development.
History of the Future of Economic Growth is aimed at students and academics in environmental, social, economic and international history, political science, environmental studies, and economics, as well as those interested in ongoing discussions about growth, sustainable development, degrowth, and, more generally, the future.

Table of Contents

Introduction: the end of economic growth in long-term perspective – Iris Borowy and Matthias Schmelzer

1 Seventeenth-century origins of the growth paradigm – Gareth Dale

2 Growth unlimited: the idea of infinite growth from fossil capitalism to green capitalism – Jean-Baptiste Fressoz and Christophe Bonneuil

3 The end of gold? Monetary metals studied at the planetary and human scale during the classical gold standard era – Andrea Westermann

4 Gross domestic problem: how the politics of GDP shaped society and the world – Lorenzo Fioramonti

5 Development and economic growth: an intellectual history – Stephen Macekura

6 Economic growth and health: evidence, uncertainties, and connections over time and place – Iris Borowy

7 An incompatible couple: a critical history of economic growth and sustainable development – Jeremy L. Caradonna

8 Sustainable degrowth: historical roots of the search for alternatives to growth in three regions – Barbara Muraca and Matthias Schmelzer