This website documents the writings of Dr Samuel Alexander. I am a lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Australia, teaching a course called ‘Consumerism and the Growth Economy: Critical Interdisciplinary Perspectives.’ I am also co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a research fellow with the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.

My research focuses on the economic, political and cultural challenges of living on a full planet in an age of limits. How can almost eight billion people flourish without degrading our common planet? What might ‘one planet’ living look like? And can we come together to build resilient, relocalised economies as globalised, carbon capitalism comes to an end in coming years and decades?

No doubt challenging times lie ahead for our species – deeper crises seem inevitable, from a range of ecological, economic, social, political and cultural perspectives. That being so, my work attempts to understand how to negotiate those crises as wisely as possible – turning crisis into opportunity. I argue this means exploring new, post-consumerist ways of living and being that are compatible with justice and sustainability. Embracing an economics of sufficiency is necessary to this endeavour, which has both cultural and systemic dimensions. Lifestyle change alone is far from enough.

In examining these questions I address issues such as degrowth, permaculture, voluntary simplicity, eco-socialism, ‘grassroots’ theories of transition, and the relationship between culture and political economy. I have also written on energy descent as a post-carbon transition scenario and the economic implications of energy descent. My current research is exploring an ‘aesthetics of degrowth‘ and the suburban implications of degrowth.

I created this website to provide an overview of my work and provide links to most of my articles, research papers, and books. A full list of publications (with links) is available here and I discuss the themes of my work here (with links).

I’m developing a video series here, called ‘Ecological Civilisation: Beyond Consumerism and the Growth Economy.’


In 2015 I published two books of my collected essays, first, Prosperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits, and second, Sufficiency Economy: Enough, for Everyone, Forever. In 2017 I published a third book of my collected essays, Wild Democracy: Degrowth, Permaculture, and the Simpler Way.  

The best place to begin reading my work would be the introductions to these books, as they provide an overview of my thinking as well as chapter summaries of the entire books.

‘Introduction’ to Prosperous Descent is available here.‘Introduction’ to Sufficiency Economy is available here.  ‘Introduction’ to Wild Democracy is available here.

Short Articles

Readers new to my work may also like to begin with some short articles and interviews that summarise key themes in my scholarship.

Life in a ‘degrowth’ economy, and why you might actually enjoy itIs the economic shut down what degrowth advocates have been calling for?The suburbs are the spiritual home of overconsumption. But they also hold the key to a better future.Access to land plus a participation income could change the worldThe energy descent futureAccess to land is a barrier to simpler, sustainable livingLimits to growth: policies to steer the economy away from disasterThe ‘green-tech’ future is a flawed vision of sustainability If everyone lived in an ecovillage, the Earth would still be in troubleSick to death of consumerism? Find freedom in a tiny houseWe need economic ‘degrowth’ to stop a carbon budget blowoutThe hour is darkest just before dawnCan a ‘green growth’ strategy solve climate change? (interview)Degrowth, sustainability, and tackling global inequalities (interview)


I have published eighteen books in recent years. They are listed below (hardback, paperback and some pdfs).

Urban Awakenings: Disturbance and Enchantment in the Industrial City (Palgrave, 2020, co-authored with Brendan Gleeson) (available here).Extinction Rebellion: Insights from the Inside (2020, edited collection of Rupert Read’s essays) (paperback, Kindle, pdf)Death for Gaia: Ecocide and the Righteous Assassins (2020, co-authored with Peter Burdon) (paperback and ebook).A Simpler Way: Collected Writings of Ted Trainer (2020, co-edited with Jonathan Rutherford) (paperback and ebook).Degrowth in the Suburbs: A Radical Urban Imaginary (2019, co-authored with Brendan Gleeson) hardback and ebook.This Civilisation is Finished: Conversations on the End of Empire – and What Lies Beyond (2019, co-authored with Rupert Read) (paperback and ebook).Carbon Civilisation and the Energy Descent Future: Life Beyond This Brief Anomaly (2018, co-authored with Josh Floyd) paperback and ebook.Art Against Empire: Toward an Aesthetics of Degrowth (2017) – paperback and ebookCompost Capitalism: The Art and Aesthetics of Degrowth (2017) – paperbackWild Democracy: Degrowth, Permaculture, and the Simpler Way (2017) – paperback and ebookWords for Awakening: Voices of Inspired Revolt (2017) paperback (pdf to come)Just Enough is Plenty: Thoreau’s Alternative Economics (2016) – paperback and ebookDeface the Currency: The Lost Dialogues of Diogenes (2016) – paperback and ebookProsperous Descent: Crisis as Opportunity in an Age of Limits (2015) – paperback and ebookSufficiency Economy: Enough, for Everyone, Forever (2015) – paperback and ebookSimple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future (2014) – paperback and ebookEntropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation (2013) – paperback / ebook / KindleVoluntary Simplicity: The Poetic Alternative to Consumer Culture (2009) – paperback

Select Research Papers or Books Chapters 

Below I have listed a few research papers which illustrate some of the key themes and perspectives I explore in my research.

Degrowth ‘from below’: The role of urban social movements in a post-capitalist transitionSufficiency Economy: Envisioning a Prosperous DescentPolicies for a Post-Growth EconomyDegrowth as an ‘Aesthetics of Existence’Voluntary Simplification as an Alternative to CollapseA Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency without Sufficiency is LostVoluntary Simplicity as an Aesthetics of Existence: Ethics in a Consumer AgeWild Democracy: A Biodiversity of Resistance and RenewalProsperous Descent: Telling New Stories as the Old Book ClosesPost-Growth Economics: A Paradigm Shift in ProgressVoluntary Simplicity and the Social Reconstruction of Law: Degrowth from the Grassroots UpThe Rebellion Hypothesis: Crisis, Inaction, and the Question of Civil DisobediencePost-Capitalism by Design not Disaster

Documentary – ‘A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity’

If you would prefer a visual introduction to the ideas and perspectives I discuss, see the documentary, A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity, which I co-produced with Jordan Osmond of Happen Films in 2016. It’s had three million views since being released.

I’m also developing a video series here, called ‘Ecological Civilisation: Beyond Consumerism and the Growth Economy.’

Short film on ‘Degrowth in the Suburbs’