Alternative approaches for a green transition


Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Interdisciplinary study of institutions and society in the 21st century – politics, economics, technology, epistemology

Course code: 105

Year of Study: Without

Course principal and lecturer:
Asst. Prof. Kaja Primc, Ph. D.
Lidija Živčič, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, discussion classes


Course syllabus


Enrollment in doctoral studies


Content (Syllabus outline):


  • Classical views in the theory of economic growth;
  • Capitalism and the ideology of growth;
  • Finite natural resources and entropy.



  • Sustainable and unsustainable growth;
  • Contradictions of the concept of “sustainable development”;
  • The possibility of degrowth under capitalism;
  • Degrowth, circular economy, and green growth.


Alternative approaches and new methodologies:

  • A different way of organising society (participation, direct democracy, the redistribution of labour, universal basic income, care, solidarity, etc.);
  • Alternative approaches in the economy (alternative indicators, co-ownership, co-operatives, barter, ethical banking, tax reforms, participatory budgets, the production of use value, communing, etc.);
  • Environmental care (resource use, waste, renewables, energy savings and efficiency, energy democracy, eco/community farming, sustainable mobility, etc.);
  • Active citizenship – from personal change to changing global trends, contemporary approaches to participation;
  • Natural resource management, environmental governance;
  • Social and environmental justice and equity;
  • Sustainable education;
  • Eco-systems and new eco-technologies.



  • Abraham, Martin. 2017. Encyclopedia of Sustainable Technologies. London: Elsevier.
  • Burkett, Paul. 2006. Marxism and Ecological Economics. Towards a Red and Green Political Economy. Leiden: Brill.
  • Castoriadis, Cornelius. 1975. L’institution imaginaire de la société. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.
  • D’Alisa, Giacomo, Federico Demaria, and Giorgos Kallis (eds.). 2015. Degrowth – a new vocabulary for a new era. London/New York: Routledge.
  • Daly, Herman E. 1996. Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development. Boston: Beacon Press.
  • De Lucia, Vito. 2019. The ecosystem approach in international environmental law – Genealogy and biopolitics. New York: Routledge.
  • Foster, John Bellamy. 2000. Marx’s Ecology. Materialism and Nature. New York: Monthly Review Press.
  • Harvey David. 1996. Justice Nature and the Geography of Difference. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
  • Heikkurinen, Pasi, and Toni Ruuska (eds.). 2021. Sustainability beyond Technology: Philosophy, Critique, and Implications for Human Organization. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Heikkurinen, Pasi. 2019. “Degrowth: A metamorphosis in being”, Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. Vol. 2, issue 3: 528-547.
  • Heikkurinen, Pasi. 2018. “Degrowth by means of technology? A treatise for an ethos of releasement”, Journal of Cleaner Production. Vol. 197, Part 2, 1: 1654-1665.
  • Kallis, Giorgos, Susan Paulson, Giacomo D’Alisa, and Federico Demaria. 2020. The case for degrowth. Medford, MA: Polity Press.
  • Latouche, Serge. 2020. “Degrowth and the Paradoxes of Happiness”, Annals of the Fondazione Luigi Einaudi. An Interdisciplinary Journal of Economics, History and Political Science, Torino (Italy): Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, Vol. 54(1), pp. 133-152.
  • Latouche, Serge. 2022. La Décroissance. Deuxième édition. Paris: Humensis.
  • Latouche, Serge. 2009. Preživeti razvoj. Od dekolonizacije ekonomskega imaginarija do oblikovanja alternativne družbe, Transl. Katarina Rotar and Bojan Radej. Ljubljana: Založba /*cf.
  • Meadows, Donella H., Dennis L. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, and William W. Behrens. 1972. The limits to growth. New York: Universe Books.
  • Miller, Thaddeus R. 2015. Reconstructing Sustainability Science: Knowledge and Action for a Sustainable Future. London/New York: Routledge.


Objectives and competences:

  • The ability to familiarise and distinguish between key perspectives of contemporary and current trends in ecological issues: political ecology, ecological and circular economy, eco-psychology, degrowth, environmental Marxism, eco-feminism, eco-criticism, eco-urbanism, natural resource management, environmental governance, contemporary participatory approaches, social and environmental justice and equity;
  • An understanding of the fundamental eco-concepts of degrowth, sustainability, alternative natural resources, eco-systems, entropy, care;
  • Development of the ability to think critically about the logic of growth and explore alternative approaches to the logic of degrowth.


Intended learning outcomes:

Through introduction of key theories and alternative approaches, the students will absorb state-of-the-art analysis to the challanges of sustainable development under the condition of natural constraints.


Learning and teaching methods:

Types of learning/teaching:

  • Frontal teaching
  • Work in smaller groups or pair work
  • Independent students work
  • e-learning


Teaching methods:

  • Explanation
  • Conversation/discussion/debate
  • Work with texts
  • Case studies
  • Inviting guests from companies



  • 20 % Short written assignments
  • 80 % Long written assignments


Lidija Živčič, Ph. D.