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Understanding Sustainability Economics: Towards Pluralism in Economics

By: Peter Söderbaum

158 pages, Figs


Paperback | Sep 2008 | #178237 | ISBN-13: 9781844076277
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NHBS Price: £28.99 $38/€33 approx
Hardback | Sep 2008 | #178238 | ISBN-13: 9781844076260
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NHBS Price: £99.99 $131/€114 approx

About this book

This is a highly readable yet challenging book ideal for academics, students and professionals in economics, sustainability and environmental studies and policy. The author provides a critical examination of the failings of mainstream economics and the resultant environmental problems we are facing. Most importantly he articulates what an alternative economics for sustainability would look like in both theory and practice if we are to pursue a truly sustainable future.

A main point raised is that fundamental issues such as the theory of science and role of science in society, paradigms in economics, ideological orientations and institutional arrangements need to be critically examined rather than assumed to be given in any serious attempt to come to grips with unsustainable trends. Amongst its features, 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 and democracy, environmental decision-making, sustainability assessment and a vision of a future underpinned by sustainability economics. The theory is underpinned by case studies, explanatory figures, further reading sections and discussion questions to facilitate debate and learning.

'A crowning lifetime achievement by one of our best ecological writers.' Jack Reardon, Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Stout and Editor of International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education 'An erudite articulation of an alternative economic thinking ... I recommend this book to all those who desire to see economics address the human condition.' Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN-Habitat, and Under-Secretary-General, United Nations


Preface; Economics for Sustainability; Unsustainable and Sustainable Trends; Sustainability Politics: Are There Protected Zones in the Development Dialogue?; Individuals and Organizations as Actors: Political Economic Person and Political Economic Organization Assumptions; Interpretations of Non-Market and Market Relationships in Relation to Sustainability; Actors, Agendas and Arenas for Social and Institutional Change; Approaches to Decision-Making and Sustainability Assessment; Towards Sustainability Economics; References; Index.

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Peter Soderbaum is Professor of Ecological Economics at Malardalen University, Sweden and author of a number of books including Ecological Economics (2000).

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