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Matthias Schmelzer

Friedrich Schiller University Jena

Based in


Matthias Schmelzer is an economic historian, transformation researcher, and climate activist. He is a post-doctoral researcher at the Friedrich-Schiller University Jena and is active at the Laboratory for New Economic Ideas in Leipzig, Germany. His main interests include the political economy of capitalism, social and environmental history, climate catastrophe, neoliberalism, and alternative economics. He is author of the award-winning “The Hegemony of Growth. The OECD and the Making of the Economic Growth Paradigm” (Cambridge University Press, 2016), co-edited “Degrowth in Movement(s): Exploring pathways for transformation” and is co-author of “The Future Is Degrowth: A Guide to a World beyond Capitalism” (Verso, 2022).

Country(ies) of Specialty


Focus areas of expertise

Climate policy and politics History Climate Justice Social movements

How to Connect



(2022). The Future is Degrowth: A Guide to a World Beyond Capitalism. London/New York: Verso (with Andrea Vetter and Aaron Vansintjan).

(2020). Zukunft für alle: Eine Vision für 2048: gerecht. ökologisch. machbar. München: oekom (with Kai Kuhnhenn, Anne Pinnow and Nina Treu).

(2019). Degrowth/Postwachstum zur Einführung. Hamburg: Junius-Verlag (with Andrea Vetter).

(2016). The Hegemony of Growth. The OECD and the Making of the Economic Growth Paradigm. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Edited Books & Journals

(2020). Degrowth in Movement(s). Exploring pathways for transformation, ed. with Corinna Burkart and Nina Treu. London: Zero Books.

(2018). Entwachstum – Utopie, Konturen und Spannungen des Degrowth-Spektrums, Special Issue of Forschungsjournal Soziale Bewegungen 31 (4), ed. with Dennis Eversberg and Gabriele Schmidt.

(2017). History of the Future of Economic Growth. Historical roots of current debates on sustainable degrowth (Routledge Studies in Ecological Economics Series), ed. with Iris Borowy. London: Routledge.

(2017). The OECD and the Global Political Economy, 1948 to Present (Transnational History Series), ed. with Matthieu Leimgruber. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Selected Journal Articles

(2023). “Degrowth and Masculinities: Towards a gendered understanding of degrowth subjectivities”, Degrowth Journal Vol. 1, 00009, degrowthjournal.org (with Dennis Eversberg).

(2022). “Frum Luddites to Limits? Towards a systematization of growth critiques in historical perspective”, Globalizations, DOI: 10.1080/14747731.2022.2106044.

(2021). “De Maldesarrollo a Decrecimiento: Una visión posfósil y globalmente justa para las sociedades del Norte global”, Gestión y Ambiente 24, 153–174.

(2018). “Research on Degrowth”, Annual Review of Environment and Resources 43, 291-316 (with Giorgos Kallis, Vasilis Kostakis, Steffen Lange, Barbara Muraca and Susan Paulson).

(2018). “The Degrowth Spectrum: Convergence and Divergence within a Diverse and Conflictual Alliance”, Environmental Values 27, 245–267 (with Dennis Eversberg).

(2017). “Beyond Growth, Capitalism, and Industrialism? Consensus, Divisions and Currents within the Emerging Movement for Sustainable Degrowth”, Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements 9 (1), 327–56 (with Dennis Eversberg).

(2017). “Born in the corridors of the OECD’: The forgotten origins of the Club of Rome and the unraveling of the postwar confidence in economic growth”, Journal of Global History 12 (1), 26–48.

(2015). “The growth paradigm: History, hegemony, and the contested making of economic growthmanship”, Ecological Economics 118, 262–271.