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10th Anniversary Focus: From mainstream 'environmental economics' to 'sustainability economics': On the need for new thinking
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. (Sustainability economics)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2689-819X
2008 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Monitoring, ISSN 1464-0325, E-ISSN 1464-0333, Vol. 10, no 12, p. 1467-1475Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Traditional ideas about science as being separate and separable from ideology have to be reconsidered. Each interpretation of sustainable development is not only scientific but at the same time ideological. For this reason our ideas about good science should also be related to normal imperatives of democracy. Mainstream neoclassical economics is specific in scientific and ideological terms. This paradigm is useful for some purposes and has played  role as a mental map in guiding us towards economic growth and other ideas about progress in society and the economy. Sustainable development, however, represents an ideological turn in our ideas about progress and it is no longer clear that neoclassical theory will be enough. Alternative perspectives in economics are being developed as part of a pluralistic strategy and the monopoly position of neoclassical economists at university departments of economics is thereby challenged. A 'political economic person' is suggested as alternative (complement) to Economic Man assumptions and a 'political economic organization' to be compared with the neoclassical profit-maximizing firm. Alternative ways of understanding markets and international trade, efficiency, decision-making, monitoring and assessment are also needed. It is argued that such an alternative mental map is useful for actors who take the challenge of sustainable development seriously.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge: RSC Publishing , 2008. Vol. 10, no 12, p. 1467-1475
Keywords [en]
sustainability economics, pluralism, ideological orientation, political economic person, political economic organization, sustainability assessment
National Category
Engineering and Technology Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4694DOI: 10.1039/b811379nISI: 000261743400011PubMedID: 19037489Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-56849083498OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-4694DiVA, id: diva2:134211
Projects
Sustainability economics: Reconsidering economics for sustainable developmentAvailable from: 2009-01-19 Created: 2009-01-19 Last updated: 2018-10-16Bibliographically approved

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Söderbaum, Peter

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