Svenja Quitsch

Kurzexposé zum Promotionsvorhaben von Svenja Quitsch

The Post-growth Transformation in International Organizations

This thesis postulates that the dominance of economic growth as the ordering principle of the global political economy is beginning to wane. This phenomenon cannot only be seen in various civil society campaigns such as the rise of the degrowth movement, but also in national, and increasingly, international politics. International organizations (IOs) begin to engage with ideas of post-growth economics. However, this development has not yet been studied in the broader context of sustainability transformation. Conceptualizing change within IOs as niche-regime interactions, the proposed research project investigates signs of an emerging transformation to post-growth economic thinking within the EU and the OECD. Based on a qualitative mixed-methods design, it thus answers the following inter-related research questions:

(1) How and to what extent have post-growth related niche innovations already begun to influence the mainstream attitude towards economic growth inside the EU and the OECD?

(2) What are similarities and differences in the adoption of and openness toward post-growth ideas of the EU and the OECD?

This dissertation contributes to three distinct fields of research. First, it enhances IO research by introducing transformation research as an alternative lens through which to study organizational and policy change. Second, it extends post-growth scholarship by adding both, the IO-perspective as well as the conceptualization as a systemic transformation. And third, it enriches the literature on transition studies, because this field currently neglects international organizations and global governance processes as an object of study. Moreover, though, considering the urgency of the climate crisis and the thus far intractable coupling of economic growth with environmental degradation, an improved understanding of the role of IOs in transition governance yields real-world insights how a socio-economic system within planetary boundaries can be achieved.