, Volume 57, Issue 3–4, pp 362–375 | Cite as

Buen Vivir, Degrowth and Ecological Swaraj: Alternatives to sustainable development and the Green Economy

  • Ashish Kothari
  • Federico Demaria
  • Alberto Acosta
Thematic Section


This article proposes that the ‘Green Economy’ is not an adequate response to the unsustainability and inequity created by ‘development’ (a western cultural construct), and puts forward alternative socio-environmental futures to (and not of) development. ‘Sustainable development’ is an oxymoron. Therefore, instead of the ‘post-2015 development agenda’, we argue in favour of the ‘2015 post-development agenda’. We discuss Buen Vivir from Latin America, Degrowth from Europe and Ecological Swaraj (or Radical Ecological Democracy) from India. The intention is to outline that there is politics beyond a unilinear future, unsustainable and unjust, consisting primarily of economic growth.


well-being environmental justice sustainability economic growth equity sustainable development 



The authors acknowledge useful comments on a previous draft by Filka Sekulova, and kind support by the Editor Stefano Prato. Special thanks to grass-roots activists who continue to be an incredible source of inspiration. Federico Demaria received financial support from the project ‘Social innovations for Alternative Ecological Economies’ (SINALECO; PK612919).


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Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashish Kothari
  • Federico Demaria
  • Alberto Acosta

There are no affiliations available

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