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This elective course is part of the minor Sustainability and Economics

In addition to students taking the minor, this course is also accessible for other UvA students and other parties.







  • dhr. dr. ir. C.F. (Crelis) Rammelt

Recommended prior knowledge

No prior knowledge is required.

Teaching format

  • Lectures
  • Seminars (only for students)
  • Self-study

Course Content

How is economic growth entwined with the social, environmental and financial turmoil of the past few decades? How can we have a stable and prosperous economy that does not grow—let alone one that shrinks to a sustainable level relative to existing planetary boundaries?

The predominant economic system is caught in a double bind: its expansion disrupts the natural world and fails to curb global inequities, while slowdown destabilises the inner workings of economic system itself. Many continue to hope against hope that economic growth can be decoupled from its ecological impact and will bring wealth to all. However, these perspectives trivialise the fundamental contradictions between the goals of economic profitability, environmental sustainability and social justice. To persist in denying these contradictions will end in a process of uncontrolled economic decline with serious social and ecological harm.

The degrowth movement offers a radical critique and an alternative vision that draws from a range of unorthodox intellectual and philosophical traditions, including political ecology, ecological economics and post-development. In this course, their insights are brought together using a system dynamics approach. It confronts us with our own biases concerning growth, limits, money, well-being and so on.


See Datanose.

Course materials

Key literature and optional readings.


See website.

Number of participants



  • Prior to the start of each seminar (three in total), participants will hand in individual reviews of the readings from prior weeks.
  • At the end of the course, students will submit an individual research paper on selected topics.
  • Participation.


UvA students

  • UvA-students can register themselves from June 11, (look for code 5512DEGR6Y in SIS) until a week before the start of the course.

Register in SIS (UvA students only)

Other parties

  • Other parties, such as contract students, UvA staff or students from other institutions, interested can register from June 11, through the registration form.
  • Contract students (not registered at an educational institution) are only able to follow the lectures without the exams.

If you have any trouble while registering please contact: 

Mode Short-term, open uva courses
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in October