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An Early Anticipation of Smart Growth? John Stuart Mill, Knowledge and the ‘East-West’ Distinction


  • Manolis Manioudis

    (International Hellenic University)


The term smart growth is associated with the necessary paths to achieve a sustainable course of economic development. Though being a modern term, it crystallises the tradition of the classical political economy regarding the role of technical change, population control and sustainability. John Stuart Mill is the classical economist who provided the theoretical framework of the term. By stressing the role of knowledge and environmental protection, core tenets of smart growth, he illustrates the macro (long-run) perspective of economic development. His notion of the ‘Stationary State’ includes these elements which are driving smart growth. By showing the differences into the mechanics of knowledge J.S. Mill shows that the historical distinction between ‘West and East’ countries is seated on the uneven diffusion of knowledge among people.

Suggested Citation

  • Manolis Manioudis, 2022. "An Early Anticipation of Smart Growth? John Stuart Mill, Knowledge and the ‘East-West’ Distinction," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 13(3), pages 2164-2176, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jknowl:v:13:y:2022:i:3:d:10.1007_s13132-021-00809-7
    DOI: 10.1007/s13132-021-00809-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leszek Balcerowicz & Andrzej Rzonca, 2015. "Puzzles of Economic Growth," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 20601, December.
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    3. Agnar Sandmo, 2015. "Editor's Choice The Early History of Environmental Economics," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 9(1), pages 43-63.
    4. Malthus, Thomas Robert, 1798. "An Essay on the Principle of Population," History of Economic Thought Books, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, number malthus1798.
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