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  • 1.
    Brown, J.
    et al.
    Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University.
    Dereniowska, M.
    Aix-Marseille University (Aix Marseille School of Economics), CNRS, EHESS, France.
    Positional analysis for sustainable development: Reconsidering policy, economics and accounting2017Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution of land and water, land-use changes, lack of equality and other problems at local, national and global levels represent a challenge for economics as a social science. Mainstream neoclassical economics may be able to contribute to a more sustainable society but it has also played a dominant role in a period where problems have been aggravated. A pluralist and democratic view of economics is therefore very much warranted. This book presents a multidimensional and ideologically more open view of economics: understanding economics in multidimensional terms is in accordance with the 17 sustainable development goals recognized by nations at the UN-level in 2015. Accordingly, approaches to decision making and accounting at the national- and business levels have to be reconsidered. Neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) with focus on the monetary dimension and an assumed consensus about a specific market ideology to be applied is not compatible with democratic societies where citizen and actors in other roles normally differ with respect to ideological orientation. Environmental Impact Statements and Multi-Criteria methods are used to some extent to broaden approaches to decision-making. In this book, Positional Analysis is advocated as a multidimensional and ideologically open approach. Positional Analysis is based on a political economic conceptual framework (as part of ecological economics) that differs from neoclassical ideas of individuals, firms and markets. And since approaches to decision-making and to accounting are closely connected, a new theoretical perspective in economics similarly raises issues of how national and business accounting can be opened up to meet present demands among various actors in society. This perspective raises also numerous ethical questions at the science and policy interface that need to be properly addressed for sustainability decision making. © 2017 Judy Brown, Peter Söderbaum and Malgorzata Dereniowska. All rights reserved.

  • 2. Daly, H.
    et al.
    Galtung, J.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    A transdisciplinary perspective2017In: Transformative Ecological Economics: Process Philosophy, Ideology and Utopia, Taylor and Francis , 2017, p. 104-115Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Soderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    The Plundered Planet, Why We Must - and How We Can - Manage Nature for Global Prosperity2011In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 70, no 6, p. 1240-1240Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    10 years of ESEE: Peter Söderbaum: My view of 10 years of ESEE2007In: Newsletter of the European Society for Ecological Economics, p. 10-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 5.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    10th Anniversary Focus: From mainstream 'environmental economics' to 'sustainability economics': On the need for new thinking2008In: Journal of Environmental Monitoring, ISSN 1464-0325, E-ISSN 1464-0333, Vol. 10, no 12, p. 1467-1475Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    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.

  • 6.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    A financial crisis on top of the ecological crisis: Ending the monopoly of neoclassical economics2009In: Real-world economics review, ISSN 1755-9472, no 49, p. 8-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A number of unsustainable trends, such as those related to climate change, biological diversity, environmental pollution, depleting fish stocks, deforestation, accumulating radioactive waste threaten people in different parts of the world and globally. In addition to this we are experiencing a financial crisis. Something appears to be seriously wrong with the mental maps of influential actors in different parts of the world. In both cases of crisis, the tendency is to blame market actors for their greediness and risk behaviour or national governments for the lack of relevant regulation, or both.

    I will here argue that among potential explanatory factors we also need to include ideas about the role of science in society, paradigms in economics, established political ideologies (and other ideologies) as well as institutional arrangements. This means that also science and universities are involved. It is argued that the monopoly position of neoclassical economics at university departments of economics has played a significant role by influencing the mental maps of many actors and making them more legitimate. Even the so called Nobel Prize in Economics is part of this picture.

  • 7.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    A New Economics for Sustainable Development2019In: Future for Youth Employment: New Changes to Approaches to Business / [ed] Eva Kras, Köehler Books , 2019, p. 17-38Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Mainstream neoclassical economics may have a role also in relation to present challenges such as sustainable development but it should at the ame time be recognized that development has been unsustainable in a period where neoclassical economics has been dominant. In the present situation we need also consider alternatives to neoclassical theory such as institutional economics. We may even need to consider alternative definitions of economics. Economics can be defined as multidimensional management of limited resources in a democratic society. Neoclassical economics is specific in value and ideological terms being close to neoliberalism. But in a democratic society actors conneccted with university departments of economics need also consider alternative ideological orientations such as those connected with United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals. With a new definition of economics concepts such as cost and benefit need to be reconsidered. Similarly simplistic international trade theory has to be examined for example the claimed advantages of so called free trade

  • 8.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Actors, Agendas, Arenas and Institutional Change Processes: A Social Science Approach to Sustainability2008In: The Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, ISSN 0260-1079, Vol. 19, no 2 & 3, p. 127-151Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainable development is a challenge not only for natural science but also for the social sciences. In the case of social science, positivism has a role but also hermeneutics and other perspectives that emphasize the subjective aspects of human behaviour. The subjective perceptions and value orientation of different actors play a central role in influencing development patterns and institutional change processes. It is argued that the conceptual framework of economics plays a key role in the 'mental maps' of influential actors. But mainstream neoclassical economics was designed for other purposes and does not go well with the present sustainability challenge. An alternative conceptual framework more in line with institutional economics is proposed. Individuals are understood as Political Economic Persons and organizations as Political Economic Organizations. Individuals  and organizations are actors with their specific agendas, appearing on arenas to exchange ideas and commodities. Analysis is multidimensional and there is a role for ethics and ideology in economic behaviour and action. Institutional change is understood in terms of the processes of interpreting a phenomenon, naming it, its manifestations and acceptance (legitimacy achievement). A scheme of analysis for actor-institution studies is proposed.

  • 9.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Actors, ideology, markets: Neoclassical and institutional perspectives on environmental policy1994In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 47-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This essay is a critical examination of three well-known textbooks of neoclassical environmental economics  concerning their treatment of environmental policy. Dynamic efficiency in the sense of Cost-Benefit Analysis of a monetary kind is not the value-neutral instrument to project and policy evaluation it purports to be. Measuring willingness-to-pay and other market values does not solve many problems if the issue is one of world view, ideology and life-styles. As an alternative to conventional approaches. a more open attitude to various ideological standpoints in society is recommended.

    Neoclassical textbooks emphasize the government as the main agent in environmental policy and classify policy instruments as either belonging to the command-and-control or the economic incentives category. A broadening of perspective is here suggested in the sense ofincluding many more agents of environmental policy; for instance business companies and public interest groups. Environmental policy starts rather at the level of individuals than governments. A distinction is made between monetary and non-monetary incentives and disincentives as ways of influencing behavior, and alternatives to the neoclassical view of man, business, markets are suggested for purposes of understanding social change.

  • 10.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Behavioral concepts as part of a participative political economics perspective2015In: New Perspectives for Environmental Policies Through Behavioral Economics / [ed] Frank Beckenbach, Walter Kahlenborn, Heidelberg: Springer, 2015, p. 147-158Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Behavioral economics tends to be seen as a new and separate branch of economics comparable to environmental economics, health economics and even public choice theory. This version of behavioral theory is mainly trying to test hypothesis of human behavior in various ways. It will here be argued that taking various behavioral concepts seriously (as was done at an early stage by Herbert Simon for example) will lead us to a new understanding of human beings and be part of a microeconomics different from that of mainstream neoclassical theory. A political economic person (PEP) is proposed as a more open alternative to Homo Oeconomicus. A political economic organization (PEO) will similarly replace the firm exclusively focusing on monetary profits and markets will be understood in terms of PEPs and PEOs as market actors.

    The political element suggests that issues of ideology, ethics, and responsibility are relevant and this is so also for natural resource, ecosystem, and other sustainability issues. The ideological orientation of an actor is something to be investigated in each case suggesting that it is not so meaningful to look for a general theory of behavior applicable to some average person or all individuals.

    To bring value issues to the forefront I have recently suggested that "economics" is defined as "multidimensional management of resources in a democratic society". Resources should be understood as multidimensional, i.e. monetary and non-monetary, where the reduction of all kinds of non-monetary impacts to their alleged monetary equivalents is not considered very meaningful. Positional analysis is proposed as an alternative to cost-benefit analysis (CBA) and institutional change is looked upon as a matter of understanding the behavior and actions of PEPs and PEOs (processes of legitimation, manifestation etc.) Inertia (lock-in effects, commitments, path dependence, irreversibility) is characterizing institutional change processes as well as estimates of policy and project impacts in decision situations.

  • 11.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Beslutsunderlag: Ensidiga eller allsidiga utredningar?1986 (ed. 2000)Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Different approaches to decision-making are described and classified. Positional Analysis (PA) is advocated as a disaggregated, multidimensional approach that at the same time is ideologically open. Traditional cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is criticized for its monetary reductionism and as being ideologically closed. Science has no right to dictate 'correct ideology'. A scheme of analysis for PA is presented and applied to transportation and land-use planning. The Swedish Road Administration is criticized for relying on CBA, a method that is not compatible with normal ideas of democracy.

  • 12.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Bortom BNP: nationalekonomi och företagsekonomi för hållbar utveckling2011Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Alla kan bidra i omställningen till hållbar utveckling. Inom universiteten krävs nytänkande inte minst i nationalekonomi och företagsekonomi, dvs de vetenskaper som bidrar med styrfilosofi och styrsystem för ekonomisk utveckling. Särskilt monopolet för neoklassisk teori vid universitetens nationalekonomiska institutioner måste omprövas. Varför detta bör ske och hur pluralism kan uppnås diskuteras i denna bok. Författaren företräder institutionell ekonomisk teori som alternativ till den dominerande neoklasiska teorin.

    I relation till kraven på en hållbar utveckling behövs öppningar för ett annorlunda sätt att se på människor, organisationer, marknader, räkenskaper och beslutsunderlag. Demokratiska ideal blir en av flera ledtrådar vid utformningen av en alternativ begreppsapparat för nationalekonomin.

  • 13.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Bredda perspektiven2018In: Upsala Nya Tidning, ISSN 1104-0173, no 19 februari, p. A5-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 14.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Business Companies, Institutional Change and Ecological Sustainability2008In: Contemporary Research at Swedish Graduate School of Business: Business Change and Renewal -Reprints, Örebro : Örebro University ; Västerås : Mälardalen Universit , 2008, p. 331-342Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Among institutional economists, Gunnar Myrdal is cited for his argument that values are always with us in social science research and K. William Kapp for his early study of 'the social costs of private enterprise'. In relation to environmental issues, a corporation could either ignore them following a business as usual strategy, modify its activities or radically reconsider its mission and practice. Models of organizations are discussed such as the Political Economic Organization which opens the door for a serious consideration of how the company can adapt to environmental issues. Environmental Management Systems is presented as a case of institutional change.

  • 15.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Business Companies, Institutional Change, and Ecological Sustainability2000In: Journal of Economic Issues, ISSN 0021-3624, E-ISSN 1946-326X, Vol. 34, no 2, p. 435-443Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Individuals are understood as political economic persons and organizations (business companies included) as political economic organizations guided by a mission. Institutional change is discussed and exemplified by the introduction of Environmental Management Systems. Finally neoclassical and an institutional interpretations of markets are compared.

  • 16.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Decision Processes and Decision-making in Relation to Sustainable Development and Democracy: Where Do we Stand?2004In: Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, ISSN 0260-1079, Vol. 14, p. 41-60Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A number of approaches to decision processes and decision-making have been proposed. These include Cost-Benefit Analysis, Multi-criteria approaches, Environmental Impact Assessment and Positional Analysis (as a form of Systems approach). While these all claim to be useful in illuminating or solving specific problems related to environment and development, the meta-level questions remain - how do we choose among approaches to decision-making? Is there a meta-approach to the choice between approaches?

    While not claiming to give the final answer, I hope that the question will at least be illuminated here. Each approach is related to criteria such as theory of science, paradigm, ideology, ways of dealing with sustainable development and democracy. This information is summarized in a profile for each method. The profiles are then used to discuss the pros and cons of different methods. It is concluded that CBA does not very well match the criteria suggested while the three other methods, each have something to offer.

  • 17.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Democracy and sustainable development: Implications for science and economics2012In: Real-world economics review, ISSN 1755-9472, no 60, p. 107-119Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 18.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Democracy and Sustainable Development: What is the alternative to Cost-Benefit Analysis?2006In: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, ISSN 1551-3777, E-ISSN 1551-3793, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 182-190Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 19.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Democracy and sustainable development--what is the alternative to cost-benefit analysis?2006In: Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, ISSN 1551-3777, E-ISSN 1551-3793, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 182-190Article in journal (Refereed)
    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 frameworks in economics appear to be a natural starting point. Positional analysis (PA) as an alternative to CBA is built on institutional theory and a different set of assumptions about human beings, organizations, 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.

  • 20.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, Institutionen för Ekonomi och Informatik.
    Democracy and the need for pluralism in economics2003In: The Crisis in Economics: The Post-Autistic Economics Movement: The First 600 Days, University of the West of England, United Kingdom , 2003, p. 94-96Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 21.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Democracy, Decision-making and Sustainable Development: Dam construction as an example2005In: International Journal of Water, Vol. 3, no 2, p. 107-120Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Decisions concerning policies and projects related to water infrastructure such as the construction of dams can be prepared in many ways. They can be left to the intuition and interests of market actors or be made the subject of systematic studies at the level of national governments, in state agencies, and even universities. Here the latter idea of of systematic analysis is emphasised. Traditional approaches such as cost-benefit analysis will be compared with more recent proposals such as multi-criteria analysis and positional analysis, which claim to be more in line with mainstream ideas of democracy. Each approach to decision-making has specific philosophical underpinnings and these features are more or less compatible with present ideas about sustainable development. It is concluded that the more disaggregated and ideologically open approaches, MCA and PA, can play a role in guiding us towards sustainable development but that much more is needed. In addition, issues of paradigms in economics, dominant ideologies in society, and institutional arrangements should be scrutinized and be made the subject of dialogue.

  • 22.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Democracy, Markets and Sustainable Development: The European Union as an Example2004In: European Environment, ISSN 0961-0405, E-ISSN 1099-0976, Vol. 14, no 6, p. 342-355Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Development issues are discussed in specific ways in the European Union and in various local, regional and international arenas. For some actors economic growth in GDP terms and international competitiveness still appears as the main vision; others refer to sustainable development (SD) as their ideological orientation. However, SD is ambiguous and the interpretation of SD differs from 'business as usual' through 'ecological modernization' to more radical ideas of progress.

    If we wish to take SD seriously as a multidimensional and ethical development concept, then research efforts and debate have to include what can be described as 'protected zones' in the development dialogue. These refer to more fundamental issues about theory of science, paradigms in economics, ideological orientations and institutional arrangements that too often have been taken for granted rather than being openly discussed in terms of alternatives. It is believed that our possibilities of approaching an SD path will improve considerably if we systematically introduce the mentioned areas into our dialogue about the future.

  • 23.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Demokratisera nationalekonomin2013In: Upsala Nya Tidning, ISSN 1104-0173, no 22 oktober, p. 5-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Varje teoretiskt perspektiv inom nationalekonomin är ett vetenskapligt perspektiv men samtidigt ett ideologiskt perspektiv. Vid universitetens nationalekonomiska institutioner råder ett monopol för neoklassisk teori. Detta är samtidigt ett ideologiskt monopol. Nationalekonomiska institutioner blir propagandacentraler för en ideologi som ligger neoliberalismen nära och legitimerar densamma. Nationalekonomin bör demokratiseras i den meningen att man öppnar för pluralism och flera konkurrerande perspektiv. Detta är bra ur demokratisk synvinkel men samtidigt när det gäller kreativ forskning och undervisning.

  • 24.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Demokratisera nationalekonomin: Problmet är att nationalekonomi inte bara är vetenskap utan samtidigt ideologi2011In: Grus & Guld, ISSN 1650-4704, no 2, p. 27-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Krav på demokrati ställs i många länder men sådana krav är relevanta i en del sammanhang också i vårt eget land och till och med i universitetsvärlden. Nationalekonomi betraktas som vetenskap men är samtidigt ideologi. Neoklassisk teori ligger nära neoliberalismen som ideologi och legitimerar därmed densamma. Problemet är att neoklassisk teori befinner sig i en monopolsituation vid våra nationalekonomiska institutioner. Detta har samtidigt en ideologisk innebörd. Endast pluralism i meningen att konkurrens mellan olika teoretiska perspektiv uppmuntras gör undervisning och forskning i nationalekonomi mer förenlig med normala demokratiska ideal.

  • 25.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Demokratisk frihandel?2015In: Upsala Nya Tidning, ISSN 1104-0173, no 7 juni, p. 5-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Förhandlingar pågår när det gäller så kallat frihandelsavtal mellan EU och USA. Debatt är angelägen eftersom utgången inte är given. Det handlar inte bara om tekniska frågor utan också om demokrati. Den särskilda skiljedomstol som föreslås där stater skall kunna krävas på ersättning om företags vinster hotas av ny hälso- eller miljöpolitik strider mot normala idéer om demokrati.

  • 26.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Det finns olika typer av valfrihet: Brev till ledarsidan2014In: Upsala Nya Tidning, ISSN 1104-0173, no 10 februari, p. 4-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Valfrihet är bra men det finns olika slags valfriheter. Betonande av en typ av valfrihet innebär ibland att man tappar mark när det gäller andra valfriheter

  • 27.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Do we need a new economics for sustainable development?2017In: Real-world Economics Review, E-ISSN 1755-9472, E-ISSN 1755-9472, no 80, p. 32-44Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental policy is often regarded as a technical issue where policy instruments at the national level are considered. Behind this perspective is mainstream neoclassical economics. But many unsustainable trends continue and it can be argued that neoclassical theory has failed. We need to test other ideas of economics and other perspectives more generally.

    In this essay economics is defined in multidimensional and political terms where compatibility with democracy is a central concern. A conceptual framework that can be described as an actor approach in terms of political economic person and political economic organisation assumptions is proposed. It is assumed that each political economic person is guided by her ideological orientation. Getting closer to sustainable development is not only a technical matter but also one of articulating ideologies and ideological orientations that differ from the present mainstrem. Mainstream economics tends to justify the present political-economic system and make it legitimate in a situation where we need to also consider institutional change. For example: are profit-maximizing firms compatible with sustainable development and what kind of international trade theory will help us understand how trade can be related to the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) recently sanctioned by the United Nations? How does the neoclassical idea about trade "protectionism" as always being bad relate to present aspirations to "protect the planet"?

  • 28.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Ecological economics: A Political Economics Approach to Environment and Development2000 (ed. 2500)Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Humanity faces a number of environmental problems. The worldview or mental maps of many powerful actors in society is however very much influenced by neoclassical economics and this economics has its limits particularly in relation to environmental and development issues. An alternative conceptual framework is presented in terms of political economic man, political economic organization, markets interpreted in political economic terms, an alternative idea of decision-making, efficiency and decision tools. It is argued that neoclassical economics has a role in relation to environmental degradation but only as part of co-existence with other theoretical approaches.

  • 29.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Ecological economics in relation to democracy, ideology and politics2013In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 95, no 2013, p. 221-225Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two recent studies and policy documents are discussed in the present article. One is a UN report prepared by experienced politicians as input into the 2012 Rio de Janeiro Conference, the other a study about the ecological economics of biodiversity.

    The UN report is of interest in informing about the thinking of politicians and their recommendations for action. Is is however a consensus report where more fundamental changes in perspectives are not considered but rather avoided. A number of ecological econnomists participated in the second study on biodiversity. They demonstrated consciousness about many of the critical arguments about Cost-Benefit Analysis but finally argued in favor of relying on the conceptual framework of neoclassical economics with its CBA. The present author is criticizing this idea of "mainstreaming" the economics of biodiversity contending that radical change in perspectives is needed.

  • 30.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Ecological economics: Redefining economics for democracy and sustainability2019In: Alternative Approaches to Economic Theory: Complexity, Post-Keynesian and Ecological Economics / [ed] Victor A. Baker, NewYork: Routledge, 2019, p. 207-221Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecological economics can broadly be understood as "economics for sustainable development". It is suggested that mainstream neoclassical economics, while having a role as part of a pluralist perspective, is not enough in our attempts to deal constructively with climate change and other elements of the sustainability challenge. Economics need to be framed in alternative ways and the close to monopoly position of neoclassical theory abandoned.

    In the present chapter, the focus of neoclassical theory on the monetary dimension, so called "monetary reductionism", is questioned and multidimensional analysis of a particular kind, positional analysis, recommended. It is furthermore argued that economics, wheter neoclasssical or other, is always political economics. Values and ideological orientations are necessarily involved. This in turn suggests that democracy has to be taken seriously in defining economics and in economic analysisi. It is proposed that economics is defined as "multidimensional management of resources in a democratic society". Individuals and organizations are understood as political actors and are assumed to be guided by their ideoloogical orientation or mission. Strengthening democracy is judged to be one among paths to a sustainable national and global society.

  • 31.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Economics and democracy for sustainability politics2019In: International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, ISSN 1757-5648, E-ISSN 1757-5656, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 91-102Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The challenges of sustainable development are multidimensional and involve all actors in society. To match this challenge economics is defined in a way as 'multidimensional management of resources in a democratic society'. It is argued that present unsustainable patterns raise issues of possible paradigm failure, ideological failure and democracy failure. A political economics approach is suggested where individuals and organisations are understood in political terms. 'Ideology' and 'ideological orientation' are proposed as essential concepts in an alternative theoretical framework for economics and sustainability politics. A method for sustainability assessment compatible with democracy is proposed. It is finally discussed how our chances to deal successfully with climate change may be improved by systematically  developing alternatiives to the neoclassical paradigm and ideology.

  • 32.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Economics as ideology2009In: Pluralist economics, Zed Books , 2009, p. 117-127Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It is an illusion to believe that mainstream neoclassical economics is neutral in terms of value and ideology. The ideology of neoclassical economics is specific and differs from the ideology of specific alternatives to neoclassical economics. Limiting education in economics to the neoclassical paradigm means that university departments of economics in addition to their scientific role get a role as political propaganda centers. Only pluralism is compatible with a democratic society and is a reasonable starting point for education and research in economics.

  • 33.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Economics as science and ideology2016In: World Economics Association Newsletter, ISSN 2049-3274, Vol. 6, no 6, p. 3-4Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This is a book review of "The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy and the Market Turn" by Avner Offer and Gabriel Söderberg (2016) where the history of the Economics Prize is discussed. Two Swedish professors in Economics, Gunnar Myrdal and Assar Lindbeck with different ideological orientations play a major role when discussing ideological tendencies in the choice of Laureates. In the review it is argued that this "Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel" is not comparable to the Nobel awards in physics because of a significan role for values and ideology.

  • 34.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Sweden.
    Economics, Ethics and Environmental Problems1986In: Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, ISSN 0260-1079, E-ISSN 2321-5305, Vol. 1, no 3, p. 139-153Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The relevance and usefulness of mainstream or neoclassical economics has been questioned more in some fields of inquiry than in others. Against the background of an attempt to characterize environmental problems, the fruitfulness of conventional ideas of economic analysis, as carried out inpractice in the form of cost-benefit analysis is questioned. Alternative approaches judged to be more compatible with environmental problems are indicated.

    It is argued that cost-benefit analysis represents a closed ethic or ideology and that approaches which open the way for various possible ethical or ideological standpoints are more promising. Different principles of resource allocation or housekeeping should be considered and the idea of only one "scientifically correct" or "true" principle abandoned. Non-monetary principles of housekeeping, such as specific versions of ecological ethics, are not "less economic" than the now dominant monetary principles.

  • 35.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Economics, ideological orientation and democracy for sustainable development2016Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In this book eonomics is redefined as "multidimensional management of resources in a democratic society. Impacts in nonmonetary dimensions are estimated separately from monetary impacts and "monetary reductionism" is avoided. Democracy stands for the fact that many ideological orientations (rather than one) are represented in society and that analysis has to respect such differences in ideological orientation. Individuals and organizations are understood respectively as political economic persons and political economic organizations.

    Alternatives to the neoclassical conceptual framework and analysis are systematically presented. Political Economic Person replaces neoclassical Economic Man assumptions and Political Economic Organization the assumptions of a profit maximizing firm. Similarly, Positional Analysis is presented as an alternative to neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysi (CBA). In this way a political approach to economics is presented as part of a pluralist view where different theoretical perspectives (neoclassical theory included) may coexist and compete.

  • 36.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Economics, ideological orientation and democracy for sustainable development2018 (ed. 2nd edition)Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Mainstream neoclassical economics claims to be value-free. This is an illusion. Neoclassical economics is specific in value and ideological terms and close to neoliberalism as ideology. Each alternative school of thought in economics is similarly specific but different from neoclassical theory in ideological terms. In a democratic society the close to monopoly position of neoclassical theory can not be defended.

    Present development guided largely by neoclassical economics is unsustainable. Sustainable development interpreted in terms of the Brundtland Commission is a different ideological orientation. This ideological orientation need to be considered in decision making at the societal level. 

    Economics is redefined as multidimensional management of resoures in a democratic society. Positional Analysis is advocated as an alternative to neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis. One-dimensional trade-off analysis in monetary terms is replaced by multidimensional analysis in line with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. Issues of inertia and irreversibility in different dimensions is taken seriously and conclusions are conditional inrelation to each ideological diemension considered.

  • 37.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Ekologisk ekonomi: Miljö och utveckling i ny belysning1993 (ed. 2500)Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Boken är kritisk mot den dominerande neoklassiska nationalekonomin och ser ensidigt framhävande av denna teori som en del av miljö- och utvecklingsproblematiken. En alternativ institutionell ekonomisk teori presenteras där såväl människosyn som sätt att se på företag, marknader, beslutsfattande och effektivitet behandlas. Traditionell samhällsekonomisk kostnads-nyttoanalys (CBA) kritiseras och positionsanalys framhävs som ett konstruktivt alternativ.

  • 38.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Environmental Management: Non-Traditional Approach1987In: Journal of Economic Issues, ISSN 0021-3624, E-ISSN 1946-326X, ISSN 0021-3624, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 139--165Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental problems are of many different kinds and share some features. Approaches to decision making has to match those features. A classification of approaches to prepare environmental decision-making is suggested with respect to degree of aggregation. Neoclassical Cost-Benefit analysis is then criticized and Positional Analysis (PA) suggested as an alternative.  The concept of economics is reconsidered and the purpose of PA clarified. Systems thinking, positional thinking (largely in non-monetary terms) and a way of analysing  interests are presented.

  • 39.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    From the contested terrain of the sustainability concept: Toward pluralistic and democratic practice2013In: Philosophy and Practice of Sustainable Development / [ed] Krystyna Najder-Stefaniak, Warszava: Zaklad Filozofii WNS SGGW , 2013, p. 22-51Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The notion of sustainable development has advanced theory and practice beyond the traditional preservation and conseration framing of environmental issues. However sustainability is a contested concept with a wide variety of possible meanings. We argue that a workable notion of sustainability must be pluralistic. But acknowledging pluralism creates its own set of challenges for both decision-making and policy implementation. A "reasonable interpretation" of sustainable development that is pluralistic without succumbing to mere subjectivism or relativism, can provide answers to these difficulties. However it can do so only in the context of participatory democratic decision-making. The goal is to reach compromise, but not capitulation, that is grounded in a dialogic engagement with pluralism.

  • 40.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Från monopol till konkurrens inom nationalekonomin: Ett nödvändigt steg för hållbar utveckling2006Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Forskning och undervisning vid nationalekonomiska institutioner i Sverige, inom EU, i USA, Canada osv. är begränsad till ett teoretiskt perspektiv, så kallad neoklassisk ekonomi. Man kan tala om en monopolliknande situation där ett paradigm systematiskt skyddas från konkurrens. Peter Söderbaum hävdar i nedanstående debattinlägg att detta är en olycklig situation, inte minst i relation till hållbarhetsfrågorna. Neoklassisk teori är inte bara vetenskap utan har samtidigt ett ideologiskt innehåll. Begränsningen till ett teoretiskt perspektiv med tillhörande ideologi gör nationalekonomiska institutioner till politiska propagandacentraler och är oförenlig med ett demokratiskt samhälle. Nationalekonomiska institutioner bör i pluralistisk anda öppnas för konkurrens från institutionell teori och andra alternativa skolbildningar så att olika ideologiska infallsvinklar blir företrädda. Dagens situation, där kritisk granskning av neoklassisk teori i praktiken endast är möjlig från företrädare för andra delar av universiteten, fördröjer ett nödvändigt nytänkande.

  • 41.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Från monopol till konkurrens och pluralism inom nationalekonomin2010In: Fria Tidningen, ISSN 1654-9449, no 11, p. 4-5Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Undervisningen i nationalekonomi vid Sveriges universitet sker enligt neoklassisk teori. Denna teori är speciell ur ideologisk synvinkel och legitimerar neoliberalismen som ideologi. Införande av pluralism vid nationalekonomiska institutioner är ett viktigt steg ur demokratisk synvinkel och när det gäller att komma till rätta med en ur miljösynpunkt ohållbar samhällsutveckling.

  • 42.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    För en ny nationalekonomi2012In: Fria Tidningen, ISSN 1654-9449, Vol. 5, no 12, p. 3-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Artikel skriven som svar på artikel av Klas Eklund i Dagens Nyheter den14/1 2012. Eklund vill öka ansvarstagandet inom ramen för dagens kapitalism. I Söderbaums artikel pläderas för att nytänkande avseende kapitalism rimligen också bör följas av  nytänkande inom nationalekonomin. Monopolet för neoklassisk teori är oförsvarligt i ett demokratiskt samhälle. Eklunds lärobok Vår ekonomi bör kompletteras av annan litteratur som bygger på annan teori.

  • 43.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Granska all vetenskap2011In: Upsala Nya Tidning, no 12 september, p. 5-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Debattartikeln utgör ett svar på en debattartikel av Torbjörn Fagerström m fl där så kallad pseudovetenskap kritseras. Utan att ställa sig på pseudovetenskapens sida kan hävdas att all vetenskap bör granskas och att det finns tvivelaktig aktivitet också inom den så kallat etablerade vetenskapen.

  • 44.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Green economics: An introduction to theory, policy and practice2009In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 69, no 1, p. 206-206Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 45.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Handelsavtal hotar klimatet2014In: Upsala Nya Tidning, ISSN 1104-0173, no 9 november, p. B22-B22Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    När EU förhandlar med USA angående frihandelsavtal så tappar man bort att EU också har ambitioner avseende hållbar utveckling. Särskilt klimatproblematiken har kopplingar till internationell och global handel.

  • 46.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    How economics can become compatible with democracy2017In: Green Economy Reader: Studies in Ecological Economics / [ed] Stanislav Shmelev, Springer, 2017, p. 25-38Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter introduces a Scandinavian and European tradition of institutional economics as ana alternative non-orthodox branch of economics that claims relevance in addressing sustainable development issues. The challenge of sustainable development is complex. Existing development trends are unsustainable in more ways than one, for example concerning climate change, loss of biological diversity, depletion of fish stocks, risk of nuclear accidents. When attempting to deal with these issues, it is often asssumed that we can rely on science and economics in particular. Economics claims to supply a conceptual framework and theory of efficient resource allocation at various levels; at the level of individuals, of business corporations and of society.

    University departments of economics educate students in one way, nationally and globally, so called neoclasssical economics. This theory can offer some ideas about how to deal with sustainability issues. But neoclassical theory has been dominant in a period when serious problems related to sustainability have emerged. It is therefore probably wise to also consider alternatives to neoclassical theory, such as institutional economics. In the present essay I will - while pointing in the direction of institutional theory - suggest a way of opening up economics to make the field more compatible with democracy. Economics has to move from present monism to pluralism and become more sensitive to value or ideological issues in present society.

  • 47.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Icke hållbar exploatering2006In: Upsala Nya Tidning, no 15 juni, p. 4-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 48.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Inte bara pengar: Traditionell nationalekonomi inget för hållbar utveckling2006In: FORMAS tidning. Miljöforskning för ett hållbart samhälle, no 2, p. 30-31Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Kraven på hållbar utveckling innebär en utmaning för många ledande aktörers mentala kartbilder. Neoklassisk nationalekonomi klarar inte ensamt denna utmaning och extrem tilltro till marknadsmekanismer (neoliberalism) måste också ifrågasättas. Tyvärr är trögheten stor när det gäller att ställa om våra idéer om framsteg till hållbar utveckling. Men ekologisk ekonomi kan ses som ett steg på vägen

  • 49.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Interpretations of sustainable development  and corporate social responsibility in relation to paradigm and ideology: An actor-oriented perspective2007In: Paradigms  of Corporate Sustainability: Proceedings of Track 16, International Sustainable Development Research Conference 2007, Vaasa: Vaasan Yliopisto , 2007, p. 232-255Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Research and teaching activities in economics and business management are specific not only in scientific terms but also in ideological terms. This political aspect has to be discussed openly. As an example, our interpretations of Sustainable Development (SD) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is closely related to our ideological orientations. In considering more radical changes towards SD, the three levels of theory of science, paradigms in economics and ideological orientation have to be involved. Positivism, neoclassical economics and neo-liberalism support the present institutional framework and globalization trend. Alternative perspectives at all three levels may open the door for a different set of institutions. While all these types of perspectives are essential, paradigms in economics play a central role. Alternatives to Economic Man, profit-maximizing firms, markets understood in terms of supply and demand and Cost-Benefit analysis are therefore proposed.

  • 50.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Is there a 'sustainability economics'?: On the roles and responsibilities  of actors in the academia2006In: Science for Sustainable Development: Starting points and critical reflections, Stockholm: Föreningen Vetenskap för Hållbar Utveckling , 2006, p. 245-255Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Economics plays a key role in the development dialogue. Sustainable Development is a partly new challenge and it is argued that exclusive reliance on mainstream neoclassical economics would represent an unwise strategy. Neoclassical economics is specific not only in scientific but also in ideological terms. In a democracy there should be openings also for other kinds of political economics. An institutional version of political economics based on Political Economic Person and Political Economic Organization assumptions is outlined. Individuals and organizations are regarded as actors interacting through markets and in other ways. Non-monetary impacts and ethical issues are illuminated to make the approach compatible with visions of sustainability. Traditional ideas of university research and education as being value-neutral and separate from politics are rejected. Just as society has to change direction, the same is true of activities at universities.

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