PhD Positions in Ecological Economics and Political Ecology: Degrowth Policies and Politics

PhD Position in Ecological Economics and Political Ecology

Postdoctoral Researcher

Degrowth Policies and Politics

We are seeking applications for an outstanding PhD candidate to work on an exciting new project on broadening the range of policy options to help achieve climate neutrality.

There is an urgent need to reconcile human development with sustainability. The lack of evidence for sufficient absolute decoupling between economic growth and environmental pressures means that future trajectories building on economic growth may not be possible. Therefore, high-income countries should move beyond the pursuit of GDP growth as a policy goal, in order to ensure human wellbeing and social outcomes, while reducing resource use to be within planetary boundaries.

This project will identify, compare, and critically assess different visions of sustainability, sufficiency, and resilience. It will include both mainstream visions such as sustainable development, green growth, and circular economy as well as post-growth paradigms such as degrowth, Doughnut economics, and a wellbeing economy. It will primarily focus on the global North, especially the European context, but will also consider proposals from the global South such as Buen Vivir from Latin America, Ubuntu from South Africa, and Ecological Swaraj from India.

The project will map the policy proposals originating from these different visions, with a focus on alternatives to growth-oriented proposals such as degrowth. It will identify the main barriers that might hinder their adoption, and explore pathways and identify criteria to increase the feasibility of alternative policies.

The ideal candidate will have a background in an area such as ecological economics, political science, environmental studies, or other relevant natural/social sciences. Expertise in qualitative research methods would be valued. Knowledge of methods such as literature review, interviews, feasibility studies, and Q methodology is desirable.

A first-class BSc and MSc degree (by the end of 2023) are required. Candidates must have top grades to be considered (e.g. an average of A- or higher).

The position will be based in the Faculty of Economics, at the University of Barcelona (Spain), under the primary supervision of Dr Federico Demaria.

Deadline: 19 May 2023
Start date: Spring/Summer 2024
Salary: Approximately €22,000 per year (funding to be confirmed Summer 2023)

How to apply: Please submit your CV, transcripts from previous degrees, and a motivation statement (max 500 words) to Dr Federico Demaria at by 19 May 2023, 23:59 CET. The subject of your email should be: “Application for PhD on Degrowth Policies and Politics”.

Online interviews will be held on 25 May 2023. Candidates invited to interview will be asked for two reference letters. The successful candidate will then be invited to submit an application for admission to the PhD programme at the University of Barcelona by 31 May 2023.


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