Title: Economics and democracy for sustainability politics

Authors: Peter Söderbaum

Addresses: School of Business, Society and Technology, Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden

Abstract: The challenges of sustainable development are multidimensional and involve all actors in society. To match this challenge economics is defined in a new way as 'multidimensional management of resources in a democratic society'. It is argued that present unsustainable patterns raise issues of possible paradigm failure, ideology failure, and democracy failure. A political economics approach is suggested where individuals and organisations are understood in political terms. 'Ideology' and 'ideological orientation' are proposed as essential concepts in an alternative theoretical framework for economics and sustainability politics. A method for sustainability assessment compatible with democracy is proposed. It is finally discussed how our chances to deal successfully with climate change may be improved by systematically developing alternatives to the neoclassical paradigm and ideology.

Keywords: economics; sustainability politics; paradigm; ideology; democracy; pluralism; paradigm coexistence; sustainable development; UN sustainable development goals; political economic person; PEP; political economic organisation; multidimensional; sustainability assessment; positional analysis; economics education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPEE.2019.098174

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 2019 Vol.10 No.1, pp.91 - 102

Received: 04 Apr 2017
Accepted: 19 Feb 2018

Published online: 05 Mar 2019 *

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