Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/108852
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Type: Journal article
Title: The new ‘passive revolution’ of the green economy and growth discourse: maintaining the ‘sustainable development’ of neoliberal capitalism
Author: Wanner, T.
Citation: New Political Economy, 2015; 20(1):21-41
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1356-3467
1469-9923
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Thomas Wanner
Abstract: This paper analyses the rapidly emerging discourse of a green economy based on green growth. It highlights inherent conflicts and contradictions of this discourse such as the myth of decoupling growth from the environment, pollution generations and resource consumption. Using key theoretical constructs of both Gramsci and Polanyi, the paper argues that the green economy/growth discourse can be seen as a Gramscian ‘passive revolution’ whereby the dominant sustainable development discourse, subsumed by capitalist hegemony, is protected in the context of global environmental, economic and development crises. The ‘neoliberalising of nature’, or in other words, the privatisation, marketisation and commodification of nature, akin to Polanyi's fictitious commodities, continues and intensifies with green economy/growth strategies. Greening the economy and associated strategies of green growth divert attention from the social and political dimensions of sustainability and issues of social and international justice. In this way, the inexorable march or ‘sustainable development’ of neoliberal capitalism is maintained. This paper goes on to argue that contesting the claims of green economy/growth discourse through political struggles by civil society against the neoliberalisation of nature is a sign of a slowly emerging counter-hegemonic ‘double movement’ which challenges capitalist hegemony and the commodification of society–nature relations.
Keywords: Green economy; green growth; sustainable development; passive revolution; fictitious commodities; neoliberalising nature
Rights: © 2014 Taylor & Francis
RMID: 0030025979
DOI: 10.1080/13563467.2013.866081
Appears in Collections:Politics publications

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