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Democracy and Sustainable Development: What is the alternative to Cost-Benefit Analysis?
Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. (Ekologisk ekonomi)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2689-819X
2006 (English)In: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, ISSN 1551-3777, E-ISSN 1551-3793, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 182-190Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is part of neoclassical economics, a specific paradigm or theoretical perspective. In searching for alternatives to CBA, competing theoretical standpoints in economics  appear to be a natural standpoint. Positional analysis, an alterative to CBA is built on institutionl theory and a different set of assumptions about human beings, organisations, markets etc. Sustainable development (SD) is a multidimensional concept that includes social and ecological dimensions  in addition to monetary aspects. If the political commitment to SD in the European Union and elsewhere is taken seriously, then approaches to decision-making should be chosen that 1st open the door for multidimensional analysis rather than close it. Sustainable development suggests a direction for development in a broad sense but is still open to different interpretations. Each such interpretation is political in kind, and a 2nd criterion for judging different approaches is whether they are ideologically open rather than closed. Although methods for decision-making have traditionally been connected with mathematical objective functions and optimization, the purpose of PA is to illuminate a decision situation in a many-sided way with respect to possibly relevant ideological orientations, alternatives and consequences. Decisions are understood in terms of matching the ideological orientation of each decision-maker with the expected effects profile of each alternative considered. Appropriateness and pattern recognition are other concepts in understanding this process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lawrence KS USA: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) , 2006. Vol. 2, no 2, p. 182-190
Keywords [en]
Neoclassical economics, Cost-benefit analysis, institutional theory, positional analysis, political economic person
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Organisations
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4687DOI: 10.1897/1551-3793Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-37049017325OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-4687DiVA, id: diva2:134195
Projects
Reconsidering economics for sustainable developmentAvailable from: 2009-01-19 Created: 2009-01-19 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Söderbaum, Peter

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