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  • 51.
    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.))
  • 52.
    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

  • 53.
    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.

  • 54.
    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.

  • 55.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Issues of paradigm and ideology in sustainability assessment2007In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 60, no 3, p. 613-626Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Does the challenge of sustainable development (SD) have implications for our approches to decision-making and evaluation? Do we need specific Sustainability Assessment Models (SAMs) and if so; what are the options? In this article, interpretations of SD are discussed as well as the role of democracy in relation to decision-making at the societal level. Taking democracy seriously means that individuals are regarded as Political Economic Persons and organizations as Political Economic Organizations. Among approaches to decision-making, Positional Analysis, PA, is advocated as being compatible with normal imperatives of democracy and useful for Sustainability Assessment purposes. PA belongs to the disaggregated, ideologically open category. The article ends with a note on the relationships between ex ante and ex post evaluation. Are the same models useful or do we need other methods for ex post evaluation?

  • 56.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Mainstream economics and alternative perspectives in a political power game2017In: Positional Analysis for Sustainable Development: Reconsidering Policy, Economics and Accountin, Taylor and Francis Inc. , 2017, p. 22-28Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 57.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Making Actors, Paradigms and Ideologies Visible in Governance for Sustainability2009In: Sustainable Development, ISSN 0968-0802, E-ISSN 1099-1719, Vol. 17, p. 70-81Article in journal (Refereed)
    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) are 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 orientations 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 perspectives are essential, paradigms in economics appear to play a central role. Alternatives to economic man, profit-maximizing firms and markets understood in terms of supply and demand are proposed.

  • 58.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Markets in the light of political economic actors and democracy: Reconsidering conceptual framework for sustainability politics2014In: Global Journal of Human-Social Science: Political Science, ISSN 2249-460X, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 6-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The conceptual framework of neoclassical economics has been quite stable over the years while present challenges point in the direction of a need for new thinking and a new conceptual framework. Neoclassical economics is more or less blind to equality issues and not enough to deal constructively with present unsustainable trends. I will suggest important elements of such a new conceptual framework as part of a pluralistic understanding of economics.

    When compared with neoclassical economics, the political dimension is emphasized thus making democracy a fundamental principle for relationships in markets and society at large. A political economics is suggested where individuals are understood as political economic persons and organizations as political economic organizations. This leads to a different understanding of markets from that of supply and demand. The ethics and responsibilities of market actors in a democratic society is considered relevant and something to be investigated for purposes of sustainability politics. Approaches to decision-making are also discussed. Emphasis on democracy suggests a different approach from that of neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA)

  • 59.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Markets in the light of Political-Economic Actors and Democracy: Reconsidering Conceptual Framework for Sustainability Politics2018In: Top 5 Contributions on Social & Political Sciences / [ed] Avid Science (Open Access), Avid Science Contact @avidscience.com , 2018, p. 2-28Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The conceptual framework of neoclassical economics has been quite stable over the years while present challenges point in the direction of a need for new thinking and a new conceptual framework. Neoclasical economics is more or less blind to equality issues and not enough to deal constructively with present unsustainable trends. I suggest important elements of such a new conceptual framework as part of a pluralistic understanding of economics.

    When compared with neoclassical economics, the political dimension is emphasized thus making democracy a fundamental principle for relationships in markets and socityat large. A political economics is suggested where individuals are understood as political economic persons and organizations as political economic organizations. This leads to a different understanding of markets from that of neoclassical supply and demand. The ethics and responsibilities of market actors in a democratic society is considered relevant and something to be investigated for purposes of sustainability politics. Approaches to decision-making are also discussed. Emphasis on democracy suggests a different approach from that of neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA)

  • 60.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Monopol för neoklassisk teori skadar ekonomipriset2015In: Dagens Nyheter, ISSN 1101-2447, no 10-20Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Idag råder i stort sett ett monopol för neoklassisk teori vid universitetens nationalekonomiska institutioner i Sverige och globalt. Det handlar samtidigt om ett vetenskapligt och värderingsmässigt/ideologiskt monopol. Ett sådant monopol är inte förenligt med ett demokratiskt samhälle. Det så kallade Nobelpriset i ekonomi har ett ideologiskt innehåll som måste beaktas och tydliggöras. Monopolet bör ersättas av pluralism och samexistens mellan teoretiska perspektiv. Endast så kan legitimiteten för Riksbankens pris stärkas.

  • 61.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Neoclassical and institutional approaches to development and the environment1992In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 127-144Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Institutional economics is suggested as a more fruitful approach to environmental problems than the now dominant neoclassical paradigm. The historical background of institutionalism in the United States and Europe is given as well as th main characteristics of this approach, i.e. holism, emphasis on institutional arrangements, pattern modelling and emphasis on the political element of economics. Differences between neoclassical and institutional economics are elaborated with respect to the concept of economics (reductionist versus holistic), the approach to decision-making (aggregated versus highly disaggregated), and the view of social and institutional change (public choice versus actor-network approach).

  • 62.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Non-Governmental Organizations and Development2010In: International Journal of Water Resources Development, ISSN 0790-0627, E-ISSN 1360-0648, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 699-701Article, book review (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This is a review of a textbook and perhps even a handbook dealing with NGOs in different part of the world. NGOs are ators with different roles and missions. A number of examples or cases are presented. The book is written from a UK perspective.

  • 63.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Nya perspektiv behövs inom national och företagsekonomi2016In: Tidningen Extrakt (Formas tidning för debatt &Opinion), no 11-01Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Klimatdebatten har hittills varit konservativ i den meningen att man undvikit att diskutera mer grundlägggande frågor om perspektiv inom national- och företagsekonomi avseende paradigm och ideologi. Utgångspunkten är att modifieringar inom ramen för dominerande vetenskapssyn, teoretiskt perspektiv och ideologi ses som tillräckliga medan frågan om institutionella förändringar undviks. Ett mer demokratiskt förhållningssätt där pluralism inom nationalekonomin prioriteras blir ett viktigt steg framåt.

  • 64.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    On the 'Nobel Prize in Economics' and the monopoly of neoclassical theory at university departments of economics2010Other (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The alleged value-neutrality of economics is challenged. It is argued that economics is specific not only in scientific terms but also in ideological terms. The monopoly for neoclassical economics in economics education in large parts of the world means also an ideological monopoly. Departments of economics get a role as political propaganda centers which is not compatible with normal ideas about democracy. Only pluralism and paradigm-coexistence can be defended.

  • 65.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Only pluralism in economics research and education is compatible with a democratic society2008In: International Journal of Green Economics, ISSN 1744-9928, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 45-64Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Do we need a Green economics different from mainstream neoclassical economics? The position taken here is that exclusive reliance on neoclassical economics (with its extension to environmental economics) will not be enough in guiding us towards a sustainable society. Neoclassical economics is specific not  only in scientific but also in ideological terms and the combined conceptual and ideological message of neoclassical economics is part of the problems faced rather than any solution.

    Neoclassical economics has to compete with other theoretical and ideological perspectives. In this article an attempt is made to systematically compare elements of neoclassical economics, such as assumptions about the Economic Man, profitmaximising firms and markets in terms of supply and demand with alternative conceptual and ideological/ethical premises, thus suggesting one possible version of a Green economics.

  • 66.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Paradigms, democracy and globalization:: The role of actors, language and ideology in institutional change2007In: Is Globalization Overpowering Democracy?: The Challenge for Ecology, Economy and Culture, Prag: Dokoran Press , 2007, p. 34-61Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 67.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Pluralism and sustainable development2012In: International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, ISSN 1757-5648, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 23-39Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    University departments of economics have to move from monism to pluralism in the sense of encouraging competing theoretical perspectives. The tension between monism and pluralism is not limited to economics paradigms but also concerns theory of science and ideological orientation. It is argued that dominant theory of science (positivism), dominant paradigm in economics (neoclassical) and dominant ideological orientation (neo-liberalism) together largely explain the institutions that are dominant in present society.

    Two arguments for pluralism are stressed; it is not realistic to expect one paradigm to be the best for all purposes. The neoclassical perspective was developed for specific purposes and is insufficient for instance in relation to sustainability issues. In addition to the'purpose' argument, there is an 'ideology-democracy' argument for pluralism. Each theoretical perspective in economics is specific not only in theoretical terms but also in ideological terms. The present close to monopolyy position of neoclassical economics at departments of economics limits the scope of economics research and education ideologically in a way that should not be accepted in a democratic society.

  • 68.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Political Economic Person, Ideological Orientation and Institutional Change: On competition between schemes of interpretation in economics2001In: Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, ISSN 0260-1079, E-ISSN 2321-5305, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 179-197Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Institutions do not exist independently of individuals. Individuals relate to institutions in cognitive and emotional ways. In this essay emphasis is on how individuals interpret various phenomena as part of their ideological orientation. A Political Economic Person is suggested as an alternative to Economic Man. Human beings are assumed to be responsible actors with many roles and acting in a changing context from specific positions.

    In relation to a specific group of phenomena such as business corporations and markets there are more than one language and scheme of interpretation that can be used by individuals. The choice and application of one scheme of interpretation is a political matter and part of the mentioned ideological orientation of the individual. Similarly organizations such as business corporations have their value orientation, business concept, business ideology or mission statement, which suggests specific ways of interpreting the world.

    Taking environmental issues seriously may - as an example - lead to a questioning of simplistic ideas about business companies in terms of profits and shareholder values. New schemes of interpretation emerge connected for instance with Environmental Management Systems, such as ISO 14001 or the European Union version, EMAS. The existence of more than one scheme of interpretation in relation to business corporations as phenomena, makes it meaningful to speak of a competition between alternative schemes of interpretation and thereby between institutions. ISO 14 001 - pointing to an idea that not only the monetary performance of a company counts but also environmental performance - has become institutionalized and in some sense threatens other existing ideas about business. 

  • 69.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Positional Analysis and Public Decision Making1982In: Journal of Economic Issues, ISSN 0021-3624, E-ISSN 1946-326X, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 391-400Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Positional analysis is proposed as an alternative to neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). The purpose is to illuminate an issue for actors and decision-makers who differ with respect to values or ideological orientation. Conclusions are conditional in relation to such ideological orientations. Economics is understood in multidimensional terms where non-monetary impacts are not less 'economical'. Decision trees are used to illustrate non-monetary impacts. The information basis is expected to be useful to politicians or other decision-makers who differ with respect to values or ideologies.

  • 70.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Positional analysis as approach to decision-making, accounting and democracy2017In: Positional Analysis for Sustainable Development: Reconsidering Policy, Economics and Accounti, Taylor and Francis Inc. , 2017, p. 30-44Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 71.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Positionsanalys vid beslutsfattande och planering: Ekonomisk analys på tvärvetenskaplig grund1973Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Positional Analysis is presented as an alternative to Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA). Economics is understood in interdisciplinary and multidimensional terms where thinking in positions (states) plays a key role. Processes of inertia especially in non-monetary terms are observed for example irriversibility. The idea is to illuminate a problem and decision situation in relation to actors and interested partys who normally differ with respect to objectives. Positional thinking is exemplified for a number of different dimensions. 

  • 72.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Reconsidering economics in relation to sustainable development and democracy2019In: The Journal of Philosophical Economics, ISSN 1843-2298, E-ISSN 1844-8208, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 19-38Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The challenge of sustainable development can be approached from different angles. In this essay it is argued that one also needs to examine the present close to monopoly position of neoclassical economic theory at university departments of economics in many parts of the world. An open debate is needed about paradigms in economics as well as ideological orientations.

    An alternative to neoclassical theory is outlined where individuals and organizations are regarded as political actors, each guided by an ideological orientation or mission. Reference is made to 17  UN sustainable development goals suggesting that impacts need to be seen in multidimensional terms and an alternative definition of economics as "multidimensional management of limited resources in a democratic society" is proposed. It is argued that economics need to move away from its technocracy-oriented tendencies to democracy-oriented approaches. This is exemplified by a move away from neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) to Positional Analysis as approach to decision-making and sustainability assessment.

  • 73.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Samhällsplanering, ekonomi, miljö1978Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental problems have become a challenge to our ideas of economics but also progress in society. Economic growth in GDP-terms is related to a vision focusing primarily on ecological impacts. Exclusive reliance on monetary profit motives in business for distinctions between commodities is regarded as problematic. Positional Analysis is presented as an alternative to mainstream CBA. Neoclassical analysis of external effects is judged to be too simplified. The functioning of the political economic system in relation to environmental problems is discussed.

  • 74.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Science, ideology and development: Is there a 'Sustainability Economics'?2007In: Post-autistic economics review, ISSN 1755-9472, no 43, p. 24-41Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The reasons why we as scholars prefer one paradigm to another are not only scientific but also ideological. It is suggested that pluralism should be discussed at the levels of theory of science, paradigms in economics and ideological orientations. Neoclassical economics is closely connected with logical positivism as a theory of science and is close to Neo-liberalism as an ideological orientation. Specific ideas of institutional arrangements follow from these perspectives. Alternatives to the mainstream have similarly been articulated and discussed at all three levels to open the door for an alternative set of institutional arrangements.

    Exclusive reliance on economic growth in GDP-terms and on monetary profits exemplifies an ideological orientation. When faced with new challenges, such as Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility, the shortcomings of the neoclassical paradigm become accentuated. Alternative ideas to those of Economic Man, profit-maximizing firms and the mechanistic model of markets in terms of supply and demand are needed. A political economics approach to an understanding of individuals and organizations as actors in markets and institutional change processes is proposed.

  • 75.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Science, Ideology and Sustainable Development: An Actor-Oriented Approach2009In: Water Management in 2020 and Beyond / [ed] Asit K. Biswas et. al., Berlin: Springer-Verlag , 2009, p. 125-136Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainable development is interpreted differently by different actors. Each interpretation is at the same time scientific and ideological. A specific paradigm such as mainstream neoclassical economics is science but at the same time ideology. Neoclassical economics is not compatible with a radical interpretation of sustainable development. Water management cannot be reduced to a technical matter. The way different actors refer to theories of science, paradigms in eonomics and ideological orientations have also to be investigated. Politics enters into economics and options with respect to ideological orientation have to be discussed.

  • 76.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Science, politics and water management for sustainability: economics as example2009In: Water international, ISSN 0250-8060, E-ISSN 1941-1707, Vol. 34, no 4, p. 432-440Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What is the role of science in water management? It is argued that science cannot claim value neutrality when dealing with policy or political issues. The scholar is better understood as a political person and actor in a democratic society. Technocracy has a role but should be subordinated to normal ideas of democracy. Experiences from humanities and social sciences are relevant for water policy and management.

    These issues are discussed in relation to the discipline of economics. The monopoly position of neoclassical economics at university departments of economics is challenged and regarded as part of the problems faced. This monopoly position has strongly influenced the thinking and mental maps of more or less influential actors in our societies. The fact that a specific theoretical perspective in economics is not only science but at the same time ideology suggests that only pluralism in economics research and education is compatible with a democratic society.

  • 77.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Strategies in relation to complexities: From neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis to Positional Analysis2020In: Economic Philosophy: Complexities in Economics / [ed] John B. Davis & Wade Hands, Bristol: World Economics Association BOOKS , 2020, p. 75-92Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this chapter neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is criticised as being too simplistic and also too specific in ideological terms. Positionnal Analysis (PA) is advocated as an alternative based on a defintion of economics in terms of multidimensional analysis and democracy. Non-monetary impacts are regarded as being as "economic" as monetary ones and decision-making is seen as a multiple-stage process where issues of inertia, path-dependence and irreversibility can be considered. While PA is still based on some simplifications, it is argued that the approach is closer to the complexities of the real world.

    Sustainable development is presented as a multidimensional issue where mainstream neoclassical theory has failed. A degree of pluralism in economics is needed to overcome some of the present unsustainable trends. As an example CBA-analysts cannot dictate correct values for assessment in a democratic soviety. In relation to decision-making, different and competing ideological orientations need to be considered.

  • 78.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Sustainability Economics2009In: The Handbook of Pluralist Economics Education, New York: Routledge , 2009, p. 181-198Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 79.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Sustainability economics as a contested concept:  2011In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 70, no 6, p. 1019-1020Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainability economics as a concept is interpreted differently in different publications. Some authors look for a modification of mainstream neoclassical economics while the present author regards sustainability economics as part of a different and separate economics paradigm. 

  • 80.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    The Nobel Prize in economics: A barrier to new thinking2007In: Real world economics: A post-autistic economics reader, London: Anthem Press , 2007, p. 81-83Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The argument of this chapter is essentially that the Bank of Sweden Prize in Memory of Alfred Nobel is normally given to neoclassical economists and thereby strengthens the neoclassical monopoly. Neoclassical monism is said to be a problem in relation to present challenges of Sustainable Development where some new thinking is needed.

  • 81.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    The Role of Economics and Democracy in Institutional Change for Sustainability2014In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Sustainability, no 6, p. 2755-2765Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Institutional change for sustainable development does not happen by itself. Individuals and organizations function as actors to influence development processes. Reference is made to a "political economic person" (PEP) guided by his/her ideological orientation and "political economic organization" (PEO), guided by its "mission". Leaving present unsustainable trends is a matter of politics and ideology and even power positions, where democracy plays a crucial role. The perspectives of influential (and other) actors are essential in facilitating (or hindering) change. I will discuss ideas of the role of science in society, mainstream economics in relation to institutional economics in the spirit of K. William Kapp and Gunnar Myrdal as well as neo-liberalism as ideology (where neoclassical economics has contributed to strengthen the legitimacy of neo-liberalism). Various aspects of inertia and flexibility in institutional change processes, such as path dependence, are discussed. Emphasis is on the role of economics and how a strengthened democracy can open the door for a degree of pluralism.

  • 82.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Toward a Democratic and Political Understanding of Economics2016In: International Journal of Advances in Social Science and Humanities, ISSN 2395-6542, Vol. 2, no 2, p. 1-7Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Economics is understood by many as an established discipline. It is about "allocation of scarce resources" and the main actors are firms consumer/households and the state. In the present essay, an alternative definition of economics in terms of multidimensional thinking and democracy is proposed and the main actors in the economy are "political economic persons" and "political economic organizations".

    It is argued that the now dominant neoclassical theory is specific not only in scientific but also in ideological terms and that the same holds for any alternative paradigm. In relation to present challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, neoclassical theory and the related neoliberalism, being behind the present political economic system, has not been performing well enough. While not excluding action within the scope of mainstream theory, we therefore need to extend the research and educational agenda in economics to alternative paradigms and ideological orientations. A political economics view is proposed which claims to be compatible with democracy.

  • 83.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Toward sustainable development: from neoclassical monopoly to democracy-oriented economics2019In: Real-world Economics Review, E-ISSN 1755-9472, no 87, p. 181-195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Will mainstream neoclassical economics be helpful and enough in dealing with present unsustainable development? Or, should we try alternative schools of thought in the sense of conceptual framework and language? In this essay the latter option is chosen. It is argued that new views of individuals, organizations, markets etc. are needed. A new definition of economics is even suggested where the multidimensional nature of sustainability issues together with a democracy-oriented view of the discipline is emphasized. Assessment of investment alternaives in a democratic society is outlined as well as elements of a politics for sustainable development. Considering the seriousness of the problems faced, there is no good excuse for avoiding the more fundamental issues of paradigm and ideology with its influence on the functioning of our political economic system.

  • 84.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Toward sustainable development: from neoclassical monopoly to democracy-oriented economics2019In: Economics and the ecosystem / [ed] Edward Fullbrook & Jamie Morgan, Bristol: World Economics Association BOOKS , 2019, p. 393-425Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Some development trends in our societies are unsustainable. Economics as a discipine claims to be helpful in solving problems of governance. Neoclassical economics has been in close to monopoly position in education and research in a period when a number of development indicators suggest that we have failed. In this essay it is suggested that the mentioned monopoly position of neoclassical theory is an essential part of the problems faced. The role and responsibility of neoclassical economists and university departments of economics for the present crisis need to be examined.

    Contrary to neoclassical ideas about value-neutrality, it is argued that value issues and paradigm issues need to be discussed as part of principles of pluralism and democracy. A new definition of economics is suggested in terms of "multidimensional management of resources in a democratic society" together with a conceptual framework that claims to be useful in relation to sustainability issues. Alternatives to neoclassical ideas about individuals, organizations, markets, decision-making, assessment of public projects etc. are proposed.

  • 85.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Sweden.
    Towards a Microeconomics for Ecological Sustainability1994In: Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, ISSN 0260-1079, E-ISSN 2321-5305, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 197-220Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental problems represent a challenge to economics. The neoclassical view of man as a rational consumer and of firms as profit-maximizing entities may be useful for some purposes but does not facilitate a debate about ethics and the social responsibility of business. In this essay 'political-economic man' is suggested as an alternative to 'economic man' and also organizations are seen as political entities. A view of markets in network terms is furthermore suggested as being complementary to the convential ideas of supply and demand. Finally, a 'holistic' idea of economics is advocated and used as a building stone for alternative approaches to societal decision-making. Together these elements comprise the skeleton of a microeconomics for ecological sustainability.

  • 86.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Towards a reconciliation of economics and ecology1980In: European Review of Agricultural Economics, ISSN 0165-1587, E-ISSN 1464-3618, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 55-77Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There is a tradition of reductionism rather than holism in science. At issue is how economics and ecology can be related to each other. Economics can be criticized for its monetary reductionism and it is argued  that non-monetary impacts in a decision-situation should be described in non-monetary terms rather than being translated into some alleged monetary equivalent.

    A distinction is made between flows and positions (or states) where a focus on changes in non-monetary positions is needed in analysis at all levels from the individual and local community to the national and global levels. Positional Analysis is recommended as alternative to neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA).

  • 87.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Towards Sustainability Economics: Principles and Values2007In: Journal of Bioeconomics, ISSN 1387-6996, E-ISSN 1573-6989, Vol. 9, no 3, p. 205-225Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Synopsis: Radical alternatives, in terms of ideas about science in society, about economics, ideology and institutional arrangements should be included among possibilities considered within the scope of a pluralistic philosophy. While all these aspects of our mental maps are interrelated and important, economics plays a key role in attempts to get closer to a sustainable society. Mainstream neoclassical economics is not enough. The tendency to exclusively rely on this particular theory is considered part of the problems faced. A 'sustainability economics' more in line with dominant ideas of democracy is proposed, emphasizing the ethical, ideological and political elements. Reference is made to institutional theory but the principles and concepts suggested are in many ways similar to other kinds of heterodox economics and developments in other social sciences. Neoclassical economics is used as a point of reference in pointing to alternative ideas about human beings, organizations, markets, decision-making, efficiency, rationality, progress in society and institutional change processes. Predilection for such an alternative conceptual framework (or for neoclassical economics) is not exclusively a scientific choice but as much a matter of political and ideological preferences. One paradigm may be dominant at a time, but because of the ideological specificity of each paradigm, competing theoretical perspectives should be accepted and even encouraged in a democratic society.

  • 88.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Understanding sustainability economics: Towards pluralism in economics2012Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This highly readable yet challenging book provides a critical examination of the failings of mainstream economics and the resultant environmental problems we are facing. Most importantly, it articulates what an alternative economics for sustainability would look like in both theory and practice. The book provides a brief history of economics and looks at the intersection between politics and the often hidden values embedded in economics. Also covered are the roles of individuals and organizations, political structures and institutions, democracy, environmental decision-making, sustainability assessment and a vision of a future underpinned by sustainability economics. A main point raised is that, in any serious attempt to come to grips with unsustainable trends, fundamental issues such as the theory of science, the role of science in society, paradigms in economics, ideological orientations and institutional arrangements need to be critically examined. The theory is supported by case studies, explanatory figures, further reading sections and discussion questions to facilitate debate and learning.

  • 89.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Understanding Sustainability Economics: Towards Pluralism in Economics2008Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The book provides a brief history of economics and looks at the intersection between politics and the often hidden values embedded in economics. Also covered are the roles of individuals and organizations, political structures and institutions, democracy, environmental decision-making, sustainability assessment and a vision of a future underpinned by sustainability economics. A main point raised is that, in any serious attempt to come to grips with unsustainable trends, fundamental issues such as theory of science, the role of science in society, paradigms in economics, ideological orientations and institutional arrangements need to be critically examined. The theory is supported by case studies, explanatory figures, further reading sections and discussion questions to facilitate debate and learning.

  • 90.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    UNT bör satsa på hållbar utveckling: Brev till ledarsidan2006In: Upsala Nya Tidning, no 17 november, p. 4-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 91.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Uppsala icke hållbar kommun2007In: Upsala Nya Tidning, no 17 oktober, p. 4-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 92.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Values, ideology and politics in ecological economics1999In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 161-170Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecological economics is built on a value-commitment to study environmental issues and to contribute constructively to a more sustainable development path. However, many ecological economists still hesitate, it appears, to depart too much from other scholars by openly addressing issues of value and ideology. In this essay, the role of the scholar's orientation with respect to values and ideology is addressed. It is observed that not only scholars but also actors in society are guided by their 'ideological orientation'. This leads to the idea that some of the weaknesses of Economic Man and 'profit maximizing firm' assumptions can be mitigated by introducing a Political Economic Person and a Political Economic Organization.

  • 93.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    SWEDISH UNIV AGR, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Values, Markets, and Environmental Policy: An Actor-Network Approach1993In: Journal of Economic Issues, ISSN 0021-3624, E-ISSN 1946-326X, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 387-408Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is argued that institutional economists have to take issues of values and ideology seriously. Economics is always political economics. Neoclassical Economic Man can be replaced by a Political Economic Person understood in terms of identity, life-style and ideological orientation and other concepts connected with social psychology. Environmental policy starts with individuals as actors in different roles. Individuals as actors may cooperate in networks for specific purposes, ideas about sustainable development potentially included. Relationships between institutional economics and ecological economics are discussed.

  • 94.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Var är länsstyrelsens integritet?2009In: Upsala Nya Tidning, no 7 december, p. 5-5Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Artikeln handlar om planerat lågprisflyg utanför Uppsala vid Ärna och olika aktörers roller. Speciellt diskuteras hur Länsstyrelsen skall förhålla sig till Uppsalas kommunstyrelse och Försvarsmakten. Hur tolkas hållbar utveckling av dessa aktörer och hur ser man på Miljöbalkens bestämmelser i förhållande till de aktuella planerna?

  • 95.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Var är visionerna och svaren?2008In: Upsala Nya Tidning, no 21 maj, p. 4-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 96.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Varieties of ecological economics: Do we need a more open and radical version of ecological economics?2015In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 119, p. 420-423, article id ECOLEC5121Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Should we aim at a single economics paradigm for all purposes or is it wise to accept the existence of more than one theoretical perspective? Is one ecological economics perspective enough or should we encourage competing paradigms as part of a pluralist perspective? Moritz Remig  expresses his preferences for 'mainstreaming' ecological economics in the January 2015 issue of Ecological Economics, suggesting that alternative perspectives and alternative terminologies, such as "sustainability economics", lead to confusion. In this reply I argue that there is no value-free or value-neutral ecological economics and that therefore limiting economics or ecological economics to one paradigm is not compatible with democracy. We have to live with some complexity when dealing with sustainability issues and should not avoid issues of paradigm, ideology and political-economic system.

  • 97.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Vidga miljöperspektivet2012In: Upsala Nya Tidning, ISSN 1104-0173, no 7 juni, p. 5-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Inför FN-konferensen i Rio de Janeiro juni 2012 har en rapport initierats av FN:s generalsekreterare som utarbetats av ett tjugotal politiker från olika länder och innehåller ett stort antal rekommendationer varav flera är intressanta. Vi står inför en komplex situation och därför är det olyckligt att man i stort sett undviker perspektivfrågorna rörande dominerande teoretiskt perspektiv inom nationalekonomin, dominerande ideologi, och dominerande maktstrukturer inom våra samhällen. Möjligheten till radikala institutionella förändringar i vårt politiskt ekonomiska system undviks. I dessa avseenden handlar det om en strategi av typen business as usual.

  • 98.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    "Värderingar alltid närvarande i nationalekonomin"2013In: Dagens Nyheter, ISSN 1101-2447, no 22 dec.Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Värderingar och ideologi är alltid närvarande i nationalekonomin. Vetenskapliga aspekter i snäv mening spelar in men också ideologi när man delar ut Riksbankens pris i ekonomiska vetenskaper till minne av Alfred Nobel. Idag råder näst intill ett monopol för neoklassisk teori vid undervisning och forskning i Sverige och internationellt. Detta gör nationalekonomiska institutioner till propagandaapparater för en viss ideologisk orientering. Samtidigt är denna neoklassiska teori och ideologi illa anpassad till att ta tag i dagens problem t ex inom området hållbar utveckling.

  • 99.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Är Nåntuna en del av Uppsala?2016In: Upsala Nya TidningArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Uppsalas busslinjenät omprövas för närvarande. Berörda människor har fått möjlighet att yttra sig men normala krav på demokrati innebär att det inte räcker med att ge synpunkter på ett alternativ. Olika alternativ börsystematiskt ställas mot varandra och utredas.

  • 100.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Brown, J.
    Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
    Democracy, sustainability and positional analysis2017In: Positional Analysis for Sustainable Development: Reconsidering Policy, Economics and Accountin, Taylor and Francis Inc. , 2017, p. 127-136Chapter in book (Other academic)
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