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Territorialising sustainability: De-coupling and the foundational economy in Wales.

Lang, Mark and Marsden, Terry 2021. Territorialising sustainability: De-coupling and the foundational economy in Wales. Territory, Politics, Governance 10.1080/21622671.2021.1941230
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Despite strong evidence that existing economic orthodoxy contributes to socio-economic inequality and the global environmental crisis, it remains largely intact. Various alternatives to the growth-based model have been proposed, but have gained limited traction. One idea that seems to have been embraced is ‘decoupling’ – that growth can be pursued without further social and, particularly, environmental degradation. Against this backdrop, this article considers the recent policy embrace in Wales of what has been called the ‘foundational economy’. The Welsh government seems to have embraced the notion of decoupling. The article begins to critically examine whether this policy embrace can potentially be a means of addressing social and environmental crises. It finds that although there seems to be a genuine interest in experiments with the foundational economy by some policymakers in Wales, largely this has not led to an abandonment of a model that is largely consistent with neo-liberal growth-centric economic priorities. It concludes that if Wales is to truly embrace the foundational, then it needs to be mainstreamed rather than experimental, and if this embrace is to tackle both social and environmental crises, and by extension, help fulfil Wales’s well-being legislation, it also needs to be more firmly routed in place.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACES)
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 2162-2671
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 4 January 2022
Date of Acceptance: 23 August 2021
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2022 12:00

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