13 November 2012
Social Ecological Economics: The Need for a Realistic Radical Alternative

Séminaire de la chaire « Reconversion écologique, travail, emploi et politiques sociales » du Collège d'études mondiales, titulaire Dominique Méda.

Avec Clive Spash, Chaire de Politique publique et Gouvernance au Département de socio-économie de la  WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Autriche. Discutants : Florence Jany-Catrice, Géraldine Thiry et Jacques Weber.


Economics is a failing disciplinary field.  The aim of economics may be variously defined but in the end the overall goal of increasing human well-being through the accumulation of capital is proving to have unimagined social, economic and ecological consequences.  The various crises facing humanity range from increasing gross inequity, poverty for the vast majority, resource wars, conversion of Nature into a human artefact and general systems instability.  The current discourses on crisis are dominated by just two issues, destabilised climatic and financial systems, but these are a small aspect of the underlying fundamental malaise.  There seems little or no ability for either the heterodox or mainstream economic schools of thought to be able to address the complex of social ecological and economic problems confronting humanity.  Most economists, regardless of heterodox/orthodox affiliation, do not regard environmental or resource issues as having any bearing on their subject, let along actually want to develop a means to address the ecological crisis.  Neither is there unity amongst the critiques of the current state of our social and economic systems.  Where the environment appears as an issue it is quickly converted into the language of the market place (capital, pricing, trading, jobs, growth, innovation).  In this talk I aim to outline why this leads to the need for a new interdisciplinary field called social ecological economics, which needs to be a unifying movement if there is any chance of offering humanity a brighter future than the one we now face.  I will put forward the need for explicitly addressing ethics and values, realism to counter pragmatism and the foundation of ideas in some fundamental understanding of a common theoretical (ontological and epistemological) basis about our biophysical and social world.

Exceptionnellement, cette séance se tiendra en anglais.
A l’issue de la séance, possibilité de déjeuner à la cantine de la MSH (forfait de 11€).

Textes de référence

Social Ecological Economics: Understanding the Past to See the Future (2011)

New Foundations for Ecological Economics (2012) surtout sections 4 et 5 (Sites accessibles gratuitement par les bibliothèques universitaires ; pdf transmissibles aux participants, sur demande)


Venue : Building Le France
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