Towards a critical understanding of work in ecological economics: A postwork perspective

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


In this paper we critically assess common perceptions of work to inform current debates on work in ecological economics. Work is usually conceived as (1) a productive activity (2) that satisfies consumer demand, (3) is conducive to health and well-being, and (4) ensures social inclusion and personal development. Drawing on the burgeoning literature of postwork or critiques of work, we argue that work may rather be understood as a biophysically intense, consumption-causing, heteronomous institution with ambivalent health impacts that stabilises societies in environmentally and socially unsustainable ways. Therefore, work should be radically reduced and organised differently so that it is no longer the main mechanism for livelihood provisioning and social inclusion. Based on our fourfold critique of work developed in this paper, we sketch out a postwork research agenda for ecological economics.

ZeitschriftEcological Economics
Anzahl der Seiten9
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 10.2023
Extern publiziertJa

Bibliographische Notiz

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors