Title: Beyond growth and development: buen vivir as an alternative to current paradigms

Authors: Salvatore Monni; Massimo Pallottino

Addresses: Department of Economics, Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy ' Interdisciplinary Center for Peace Studies, Pisa University, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to investigate to what extent buen vivir ('good life'), Latin America's new concept for collective well being, can be considered a way forward beyond current paradigms related to economic growth, development, ideology and state building, with its strengths and potential weaknesses or just a new version of political discourse. In order to answer this question, we will briefly review the literature that can help to trace the buen vivir origins in the cosmovisions of Latino American indigenous peoples, and to connect it to reflections made in different areas of social, economic and political sciences, trying to identify the areas in which divergences arise using established approaches and frameworks. In the conclusions we will also try to look at the added value brought by the buen vivir towards a renewed understanding of political, social, and economic objectives of the associated life.

Keywords: buen vivir; development policy; Latin America; plurinational state; socialism; state building; collective wellbeing; indigenous peoples.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEPDM.2015.074300

International Journal of Environmental Policy and Decision Making, 2015 Vol.1 No.3, pp.184 - 204

Received: 05 Sep 2015
Accepted: 15 Sep 2015

Published online: 21 Jan 2016 *

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