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Democracy and sustainable development: Implications for science and economics
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. (Ekonomi för hållbar utveckling)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2689-819X
2012 (English)In: Real-world economics review, ISSN 1755-9472, no 60, p. 107-119Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sustainable development is a contested concept in that it is interpreted differently by different actors. A distinction has been made between "weak" and "strong" sustainability. Some have referred to three aspects or "pillars" of sustainable development; economic, social and environmental. Others have advocated a further broadening of the kinds of dimensions to be considered. The present author has argued that a distinction between monetary and nonmonetary aspects of development is crucial and also that an actor´s relation to ongoing development and the present political-economic system can be catgorized in terms of "business-as-usual" (BAU) interpretation and attitude, "social and ecological modernization" or as demanding "radical change" in our present political-economic system.

Mainstream neoclassical economics in its textbook form will be scrutinized with respect to its scientific and ideological features. this will be related to what appears to be needed to meet the challenge of sustainable development. An economics that is more open and compatible with democracy is indicated.

Influential actors in business, government and civil society have their specific - or less precise - ideas of economics for management and governance. Such mental maps of influential and other actors are closely related to mainstream neoclassical economic theory. This assertion has of course to be made credible or proven by special studies. Here, I will scrutinize a consensus report prepared for the Rio+20 Conference (United Nations Secretary General, 2012) with respect to the ideas of economics to which it refers. My conclusion is that the report's authors do not know of or consider any alternative to the neoclassical perspective. Pluralism with respect to paradigms in economics is then recommended as an initial first step towards sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. no 60, p. 107-119
Keywords [en]
neoklassical economics, theory of science, ideology, pluralism, institutional economics, institutional change, democracy, sustainable development, 2012 UN panel on sustainability
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Organisations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-15074OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-15074DiVA, id: diva2:542030
Projects
Economics for sustainable developmentAvailable from: 2012-07-27 Created: 2012-07-27 Last updated: 2014-05-13Bibliographically approved

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http://rwer.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/rwer-issue-60/

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Söderbaum, Peter

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