Civil Economy and Civilized Economics: Essentials for Sustainable Development
AbstractThis essay will consider the relevance of the social sciences - especially economics - to the foundations of sustainable development. Looming environmental crises have served as a prime motivating force for reevaluating fundamental principles. In particular, the concept of sustainability, carrying with it clear requirements for values, goals and ethics, has begun to reshape economics. The broadest conception of sustainability is found if we understand sustainable development to mean Socially And Environmentally Just And Sustainable development - "SAEJAS development". Throughout the paper we will see examples of rules, or norms, that serve to organize human behavior without requiring that everything be rethought all the time. Among these may be found some ethical rules that lay the foundation for responding to the current situation in which humanity finds itself. What notice should the social sciences take of such rules? How would the social sciences - especially economics - have to change in order to be able to pay appropriate attention to ethical norms? "Participatory science," involving citizens as well as specialists, is proposed as an outline for the kind of science that is needed under contemporary circumstances. The approach described under this rubric will be contrasted with the methods and assumptions of mainstream economics. The essay will give some attention to how economic ideas - for better or for worse - affect and shape culture and society. The theory of sustainable development is proposed as offering strong, practical elements of a needed alternative economic paradigm. The conclusion will remind us that theory alone has little effect, and will point to an area where theory and practice can work together to civilize modern economies.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Development and Comp Systems with number 0106004.
Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 13 Jun 2001
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - PDF; pages: 35; figures: n/a. This paper was originally prepared for the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS) sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Other working papers available at www.gdae.org
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civil society; sustainable development; development; SAEJAS; ethics; social capital; environment; new economics;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
- D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
- D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
- I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
- L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2001-06-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2001-06-22 (Development)
- NEP-ENE-2001-06-22 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-PKE-2001-06-22 (Post Keynesian Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Goodwin, Neva R., 2000. "Development connections: The hedgerow model," MPRA Paper 28541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
- Robert H. Frank & Thomas D. Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1996. "Do Economists Make Bad Citizens?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 187-192, Winter.
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