Deepgrowth: Self-transformation towards harmonious being

Hubert Buch-Hansen*, Iana Nesterova

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Profound transformations in human beings are necessary if we are to exist in harmony with ourselves, other beings and nature. Only if such transformations take place, can the deep social changes that degrowth proponents call for come about. Yet what mechanisms could contribute to trigger and support (or hinder) inner growth? This question, which remains largely unexplored in degrowth scholarship, is addressed in the present contribution. Drawing on critical realist philosophy, humanism and deep ecology, it introduces and develops the concept of deepgrowth. The concept denotes processes through which a human – through inner growth enabled and supported by multiple external and internal mechanisms – becomes a harmonious being. The paper reflects on human nature and identifies several mechanisms that may enable or constrain transformations in the selves of humans. These mechanisms are situated on various planes of social being: material transactions with nature, social interactions, social structures and inner being. Noting that degrowth scholarship ought to reflect more systematically upon eco-social policies in relation to inner being, the paper discusses how combinations of such policies may contribute to facilitate deepgrowth.

TidsskriftEcological Economics
StatusUdgivet - okt. 2024


  • Critical realism
  • Degrowth
  • Eco-social policies
  • Humanism
  • Inner transformations

Citer dette