Sustainable Consumption Articles

These publications reflect the development of our field since SCORAI was founded in 2008

Recently, we asked the subscribers to the SCORAI listserv to suggest publications from the past decade or so which reflect major developments of the field of Sustainable Consumption. The responses we received were in the form of individual papers, reports and bibliographic lists. The list below is a pared down version of these submissions. Since sustainable consumption is a multidisciplinary field of scholarship and practice, we did not try to group them by topic; and since arranging them alphabetically did not make sense either, we settled on chronology as the organizing principle, choosing 2008 as a start: the year of founding of SCORAI.

There was no set of criteria for selection, no advisory committee, no decision tree. There was only one guiding principle: to capture the richness of the multiple perspectives which comprise the body of knowledge about the structure and functioning of consumer society, the forces that allow it to maintain and reproduce itself, and promising pathways for transitioning beyond it. The list is but an echo of how the field developed. Some of you will be unhappy with what is in it, and what is not. This is however a living list: please keep sending us more suggestions on what should be added to it.

The chronological arrangement of the bibliography also highlights the temporal evolution of the field: from the early emphasis on individual consumer behaviors, consumer culture, marketing and behavioral change; to a more systemic thinking about drivers of consumption, including institutions, social practices and technological change; to examining consumption from the angle of human well-being; to quantifying the link between consumption and greenhouse gas emissions; to recognizing the role of economic growth, political power and the financialization of the economy; to acknowledging the issues of equity and social justice in a transition to more sustainable consumption.



by Wiliam Rees

Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 2023 Vol. 21: 1–19

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by Parrique,T., Barth, J., Briens, F., C. Kerschnre, KRAUS-Polk, A., Kuokkanen, A., Spangenberg, J.H.

EEB, European Environmental Bureau (2019)

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by Mathieu Saujot

IDDRI Sustainable Development and International Relations,

Brief N° 3 OCTOBER 2022

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Global Multi-Regional Input-Output methodology reveals lower energy footprint in an alternative community project

by Estitxu Villamore, Ortzi Akizu-Gardoki, Jukka Heinonen and Gorka Bueno

Sustainable Production and Consumption 34: 65-77 (2022)

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Toward Sustainable Wellbeing: Advances in Contemporary Concepts

by Taghg  O’Mahony

Frontiers of Sustainability 3:807984 (2022)

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by Sophie Dubuisson-Quellier

Consumption and Society 1: 31–50 (2022)

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Comprehensive Evidence Implies a Higher Social Cost of CO2

by Rennert, K., Errickson, F., Prest, B.C. et al.

Nature 610, 687–692 (2022)

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National Responsibility for Ecological Breakdown: A Fair-Shares Assessment of Resource Use, 1970–2017

by Jason Hickel, Daniel W. O’Neill, Andrew L. Fanning, and Huzaifa Zoomkawala

The Lancet Planetary Health 6 (4): e342–49 (2022).

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Impacts of meeting minimum access on critical earth systems amidst the Great Inequality

by Crelis F. Rammelt, Joyeeta Gupta, Diana Liverman, Joeri Scholtens, Daniel Ciobanu, Jesse F. Abrams, Xuemei Bai,Lauren Gifford, Christopher Gordon, Margot Hurlbert, Cristina Y.A. Inoue, Lisa Jacobson, Steven J. Lade, Timothy M. Lenton, David I. Amstrong McKay, Nebojsa Nakicenovic, Chukwumerije Okereke, Ilona M.Otto, Laura M. Pereira, Klauia Prodani, Johan Rockstrom, Ben Stewart-Koster, Peter H. Verburg&Caroline Zimm

Nature Sustainability (2022)


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Public acceptance of post-growth: Factors and implications for post-growth strategy

by Lily Paulson and Milena Buchs

Futures 143:103020

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From an Ethic of Sufficiency to its Policy and Practice in Late Capitalism

by Anders Hayden, Thomas Princen, Marlyne Sahakian, Clémentine Rossier, Jonas Lage, Hannah Klinkenborg, Anica Rossmoeller, Laura Beyeler, David Barkin, Clay Dasilva, Melanie Jaeger-Erben

Frontiers in Sustainability

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The Outsized Carbon Footprints of the Super-Rich

by Beatriz Barros and Richard Wilk

Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy 17 (1): 316 (2021).

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Social Policy Without Growth: Moving Towards Sustainable Welfare States

by Max Koch

Social Policy & Society 21:3, 447–459. doi:10.1017/S1474746421000361.

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Through the Eye of a Needle: An Eco-Heterodox Perspective on the Renewable Energy Transition,

by Megan Seibert and William Rees

 Energies14(15): 4508 (2021)

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Building the bridge between Protected Needs and consumption corridors

 by Antonietta Di Giulio & Rico Defila

 (2021).  Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 17:1, 117-134, DOI

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Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook 2021

Assessing the plausibility of deep decarbonization by 2050

by Detlef Stammer; Anita Engels; Jochem Marotzke; Eduardo Gresse; Christopher Hedemann; Jan Petzold

 (eds.); 2021. Cluster of Excellence Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CLICCS). Hamburg, Germany

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The Political Economy of (Un)Sustainable Production and Consumption

A Multidisciplinary Synthesis for Research and Action

by Manu Mathai

Resources, Conservation and Recycling 2021 ,Vol 167 (2021)

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The Political Economy of car dependence: A systems of provision approach

by Giulio Mattiolia, Carmeron Roberts, Julia K. Steinberger, Andrew Brown 

Energy Research & Social Science 66101486 (2020)

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Sufficiency Transitions: A Review of Consumption Changes for Environmental Sustainability

by Maria Sandberg

Journal of Cleaner Production 293:126097 (April 2021).

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Wellbeing Matters: Tackling growth dependency

by Tim Jackson

Sustainable Human Development: Essays on True Democracy and Capitalism, January 2021

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Urgent need for post-growth climate mitigation scenarios

by Jason Hickel, Paul Brockway, Giorgos Kallis, Lorenz Keyßer, Manfred Lenzen, Aljoša Slameršak, Julia Steinberger & Diana Ürge-Vorsatz

Environmental Research Letters, 15(9), 093001 (2021).

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1.5-Degree Lifestyles

Towards A Fair Consumption Space for All

by Lewis Akenji, Magnus Bengtsson, Viivi Toivio, Michael Lettenmeier, Tina Fawcett, Yael Parag, Yamina Saheb, Anna Coote, Joachim H. Spangenberg, Stuart Capstick, Tim Gore, Luca Coscieme, Mathis Wackernagel, Dario Kenner .

Hot or Cool Institute, Berlin(2021).

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1.5-Degree Lifestyles scenarios

suggest the need for new mitigation pathways

by Lorenz T. Keyßer .

Nature Communications. 12, 2676 (2021) Whit summary

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Sustainable Lifestyles after Covid-19

by Fabián Echegaray, Valerie Brachya, Philip J. Vergragt, Lei Zhang,.

Routledge (2021).

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Sustainable Consumption Communication

A Review of an Emerging Field of Research

by Daniel Fischer, Julia-Lena Reinermann, Georgina Guillen-Mandujano, C. Tyler DesRoches, Sonali Diddi, Philip J. Vergragt.

Cleaner Production 300: 126880 (2021).

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Changing our ways? Behaviour change and the climate crisis The report of the Cambridge Sustainability Commission

by Peter Newell


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Global Carbon Inequality, 1990-2019

by Lucas Chancel

World Inequality Lab – Working Paper N° 2021/22 (2021).

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Global redistribution of income and household energy footprints: a computational thought experiment

by  Oswald Y,  Steinberger  JK, Ivanova D, Millward-Hopkins J

(2021).  Global Sustainability 4, e4, 1–13

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1.5 °C degrowth scenarios suggest the need for new mitigation pathways

 by Keyßer, L.T., Lenzen, M

Nat Commun 12, 2676 (2021).

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 Challenging social norms to recraft practices: A Living Lab approach to reducing household energy use in eight European countries

 by Sahakian M, Rau H, Grealis E

et al.(2021). Energy Research & Social Science 72: 101881 

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Preparedness of Young People for a Sustainable Lifestyle: Awareness and Willingness

 by Anastazija Dimitrova

Sustainability 2021, 13, 7204.(2021)

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Socio-economic conditions for satisfying human needs at low energy use

An international analysis of social provisioning

 by Jefim Vogel

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Prepare developed democracies for long-run economic slowdowns

 by Matthew G. Burgess , Amanda R. Carrico , Steven D. Gaines, Alessandro Peri and Steve Vanderheiden

Nature Human Behavior 5, 1608–1621 (2021).

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A systematic reiew of the evidence on decoupling of GDP, resource use and GHG emissions, part II: synthesizing the insights

by Helmut HaberlDominik WiedenhoferDoris VirágGerald KaltBarbara PlankPaul BrockwayTomer FishmanDaniel HausknostFridolin KrausmannBartholomäus Leon-Gruchalski

Environmental Research Letters15: 065003 (2020).

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A Societal Transformation Scenario for Staying Below 1.5°C

by Kai Kuhnhenn, Luis Costa, Eva Mahnke, Linda Schneider, and Steffen Lange

Berlin and Leipzig: Heinrich Böll Foundation and Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie (2020).

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Consumption-based carbon accounting: sense and sensibility

by Arnold Tukker, Hector Pollitt & Maurits Henkemans

Climate Policy, 20:sup1, S1 S13, DOI (2020)

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Why carbon pricing is not sufficient to mitigate climate change—and how “sustainability transition policy” can help

 by Daniel Rosenbloomd

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1.5-Degree Lifestyles

Targets and options for reducing lifestyle carbon footprints Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

by Akenji, L.

  Aalto University and D-mat ltd (2020),

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New Conceptions of Sufficient Home Size in High Income Countries

Are we Approaching a Sustainable Consumption Transition?

by Cohen, M. J.

Housing, Theory and Society, 1 31 (2020)

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Theories of Practices: Agency, Technology, and Culture

Exploring the relevance of practice theories for the governance of sustainable consumption practices in the new world-order

by Spaargaren, G.

  Global Environmental Change 21, 813-822. (2011)

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Quantifying the potential for climate change mitigation of consumption options

by Ivanova, D., Barrett, J., Wiedenhofer, D., Macura, B., Callaghan, M., & Creutzig, F.

Nat Energy 6, 766–768Environmental Research Letters, 15(9), 093001(2021).

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Wellbeing matters: Tackling growth dependency

An economy that works: Briefing Paper 3.

by Jackson, T .

Report for the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth February​(2020).

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A Just Green Transition


A follow-up on the SAMAK Nordic
climate summit in Copenhagen on January 29, 2020

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The limits of energy sufficiency

A review of the evidence for rebound effects and negative spillovers from behavioural change.

by Sorrell, S., Gatersleben, B. & Druckman, A .

Energy Research & Social Science, 64, p.101439.(2020).

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Pathways to 1.5-degree lifestyles by 2030



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Happier with less?

Members of European environmental grassroots initiatives reconcile lower carbon footprints with higher life satisfaction and income increases

by Vita, G. .

Energy Research & Social Science, 60, 101329.(2020).

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Scientists’ warning on affluence

by Thomas Wiedmann

Nature Communications

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Universal Basic Services

A theoretical and moral framework


by  Ian Gough


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Power and Politics in Sustainable Consumption Research and Practice

 Isenhour, C., Martiskainen, M. & Middlemiss, L. (Eds.)

London: Routledge-SCORAI Studies in Sustainable Consumption (2019).

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The political economy of car dependence

A systems of provision approach.

 by Mattioli, G., Roberts, C., Steinberger, J., & Brown, A

Energy Research & Social Science, 66, 101486. (2020).

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Providing decent living with minimum energy:

A global scenario.

 by Millward-Hopkins, J., Steinberger, J., Rao, N., & Oswald, Y.

Global Environmental Change, 65, 102168 (2020).

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A reexamination on how behavioral interventions can promote household action to limit climate change

 by Stern, P. C.

Nature Communications, 11(1), 1-3. (2020).

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It starts at home?

Climate policies targeting household consumption and behavioral decisions are key to low-carbon futures

by  Dubois, G., Sovacool, B., Aall, C., Nilsson, M., Barbier, C., Herrmann, A., & Dorner, F

Energy Research & Social Science, 52, 144-158. (2019)

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Sustainable living

bridging the North-South divide in lifestyles and consumption debates

by  Hayward, B. & Roy, J

Annu.Rev.Environ.Resour 44:157–75 (2019)

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1.5-Degree Lifestyles

Targets and Options for Reducing Lifestyle Carbon Footprints.

by Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Aalto University, and D-mat ltd

Technical Report. Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Hayama, Japan.  (2019),

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Unraveling the claims for (and against) green growth

by Jackson, T. and Victor, P.A

Science, 22 November (2019).

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Introduction to A Research Agenda for Sustainable Consumption Governance

Mont, O.

A Research Agenda For Sustainable Consumption Governance, 1-17. ​(2019).

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Sufficiency and consumer behaviour

from theory to policy.

by Spangenberg, Joachim H., Lorek, Sylvia

Energy Policy 129: 1070‐1079.(2019).

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Managing Without Growth, Slower by Design, Not Disaster

by Peter A. Victor

2nd Edition, Edward Elga

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Measuring Prosperity—Navigating the options

by Walker, C. & T Jackson

CUSP Working Paper No 20. Guildford: University of Surrey (2019)

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Universal Basic Services

A theoretical and moral framework

by  Ian Gough


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Energy sufficiency through social innovation in housing,

 by Sylvia Lorek, Joachim H. Spangenberg

Energy Policy 126 (2019).

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Advancing sustainable consumption and production in cities

A transdisciplinary research and stakeholder engagement framework to address consumption-based emissions and impacts

 by Patrick Schröder

Journal of Cleaner Production 213: 114-125 (2019).

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Why achieving the Paris Agreement requires reduced overall consumption and production 

by  Eva Alfredsson

Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, 14:1, 1-5. (2018)

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Critical sustainable consumption

a research agenda

by  Anantharaman, M.

Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 8 (4), 553–561 (2018)

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Bjørn, A Pursuing necessary reductions in embedded GHG emissions of developed nations

Will efficiency improvements and changes in consumption get us there?

by Bjørn, A

Global Environmental Change52, 314-324.(2018),

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Consumption-based GHG emissions of C40 cities

by C40 Cities


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Introduction The fading American dream

Trends in absolute income mobility since 1940

by Raj Chetty .

Science 356, 398–406. ​(2018).

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by Friends of the Earth:


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Achieving a shorter working week in the UK

by Harper, A. & Martin, A

New Economics Foundation. London. (2018).

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by Kallis, G.

New York: Columbia University Press. (2018)

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Sustainable Consumption

Key Issues

by Middlemiss, L.

London: Routledge. (2018)

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Framing the Economy: How to win the case for a better system



by New Economics Foundation

FrameWorks Institute, Public Interest Research Centre PIRC, and NEON. 2018.

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The Energy-emissions Trap

 by Martin R. Sers, Peter A. Victor

Ecological Economics Volume 151, 10-21 (2018).

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Redefining Green Growth within Planetary Boundaries

 by Stoknes, Per Espen and Johan Rockström


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Sustainability and Well-Being 

A Happy Synergy

by  Barrington-Leigh, Christopher

Great Transition Initiative (April 2017).

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Social Change and the Coming of Post-Consumer Society

Theoretical Advances and Policy Implications

by  Routledge

  Routledge (2017)

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Beyond Technology: Demand- Side Solutions for Climate Change Mitigation

by Creutzig, F., Fernandez, B., Haberl, H., Khosla, R., Mulugetta, Y., & Seto, K. C.

Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 41(1), 173–198.(2016),

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 Global carbon inequality

by Klaus Hubacek

 Energ. Ecol. Environ. (2017) 2(6):361–369

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Living both well and sustainably

a review of the literature, with some reflections on future research, interventions and policy

by Kasser, T .

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 375 (2095), 20160369. ​(2017).

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Documenting decline in U.S. economic mobility

by Lawrence F. Katz

Science VOL 356 ISSUE 6336 (2017).

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Sociotechnical transitions for deep decarbonization

by Frank Geels

Science 1244 2017 • VOL 357 ISSUE 6357 (2017).

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Global carbon inequality

by Klaus Hubacek.

Energ. Ecol. Environ. (2017) 2(6):361–369

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A NEW HEDONISM A Post-Consumerism Vision



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Assessment of Policy Integration of Sustainable Consumption and Production into National Policies

by Koide, R. & Akenji, L.

Resources, 6, 48. (2017)

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Doughnut Economics

Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century

 by Raworth, K.

Economist, New York: Random House Business Books.  (2017).

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Lifestyle Leapfrogging

 by Schroeder, P., & Anantharaman, M.

in Emerging Economies: Enabling Systemic Shifts to Sustainable Consumption’. Journal of Consumer Policy, 40(1), 3-23.(2017).

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Sustainable Consumption

An Important but Ambiguous Concept

 by P.J. Vergragt

in James Meadowcroft and Daniel J. Fiorino (eds.) 2017. Conceptual Innovation in Environmental Policy pp 390-425, MIT press.

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From Consumerism to Wellbeing

toward a cultural transition?

by Brown, Halina S., and Philip J Vergragt.

Journal of Cleaner Production 132, 308-317. (2016)

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Fostering and Communicating Sustainable Lifestyles

Principles and Emerging Practices

by Vergragt, P.J.

UNEP– Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch ​(2016).

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Carbon and inequality

from Kyoto to Paris

by Chancel, L., & Piketty, T.

Paris School of Economics, 6. (2015).

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Prospects for radical emissions reduction through behavior and lifestyle change

by  Capstick, S., Lorenzoni, I., Corner, A., & Whitmarsh, L.

  Carbon management, 5(4), 429-445 (2016)

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by D’Alisa, G., Demaria, F., & Kallis, G.

Abingdon: Routledge. (2015)

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Economics for a Full World

by Daly, Herman.

Great Transition Initiative. ​(June 2015).

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Ecological footprints and lifestyle archetypes

Exploring dimensions of consumption and the transformation needed to achieve urban sustainability

by Moore, J.

Sustainability, 7(4), 4747-4763 (2016)

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Sustainable Consumption Toolkit

 by USDN.


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Sustainable Consumption Corridors

Concept, Objections, and Responses

by Di Guilio, A. & D, Fuchs.

23/S1: 184 –192 (2014)

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Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption

Lucia Reisch and John Thøgersen (Eds.)

Edward Elgar Publishing ​(2016).

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“Weak” or “strong” sustainable consumption?

Efficiency, degrowth, and the 10 year framework of programmes.

by Hobson K.

Environment and Planning C 31(6):1082–98 (2013).

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The Rebound Effect

Implications of Consumer Behaviour for Robust Energy Policies



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Strong sustainable consumption governance–precondition for a degrowth path?

by Lorek, S., & Fuchs, D.

   Journal of cleaner production38, 36-43.(2013).

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Sustainable food consumption

an overview of contemporary issues and policies

by Reisch, L., Eberle, U., & Lorek, S

Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy9(2), 7-25. (2013)

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Cuing consumerism

Situational materialism undermines personal and social well-being

by Bauer, M. A., Wilkie, J. E., Kim, J. K., & Bodenhausen, G. V.

Psychological Science, 23(5), 517-523. (2012)

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Making Peace with the Earth

by Vandana Shiva


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Selling climate change?

The limitations of social marketing as a strategy for climate change public engagement

by Corner, A. & A. Randall

Global Environmental Change, 21(3): 1005-1014. (2011).

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Reviewing the Research

Report of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress

by Tim Jackson


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In defence of degrowth Ecological Economics

by Giorgos Kallis

   70, 5, 873-88 (2011).

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Personal Carbon Trading

A Radical Policy Option for Reducing Emissions from the Domestic Sector Environment

by Yael Paraga

Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 53: 1, 29 — 37 (2011)

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Individual consumption and systemic societal transformation

Introduction to the special issue

by Cohen, M., Brown, H., & Vergragt, P

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 6(2):6-12 (2010).

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Is efficient sufficient?

by Chris Calwell


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High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being

by Daniel Kahneman1 and Angus Deaton


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Reframing individual responsibility for sustainable consumption

lessons from environmental justice and ecological citizenship

by Middlemiss, L.

Environmental Values 19 (2): 147–167.(2010).

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What’s blocking sustainability?

Human nature, cognition and denial

by William Rees

Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 6(2) 13-25. (2010)

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The carbon footprint of UK households 1990–2004

a socio-economically disaggregated, quasi-multi-regional input–output model

by Druckman, A., & Jackson, T.

Ecological economics, 68(7), 2066-2077. (2009).

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Prosperity without growth?

The transition to a sustainable economy

by Tim Jackson


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Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness.

by Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R.

  London: Penguin.  (2009).

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The Spirit Level

Why Equality Is Better for Everyone

by Wilkinson, R. & Pickett, L.

London: Allen Lane. (2011)

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Sustainable consumption

Perspectives from social and cultural theory

by Evans, D., & Jackson, T.

RESOLVE Working Paper 05-08, University of Surrey: Guildford. (2008)

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