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Taking sustainability into account
Peace and Development Studies, Växjö University.
University of Gävle, Department of Business Administration and Economics, Ämnesavdelningen för företagsekonomi. (INFLOW)
2008 (English)In: Science for sustainable development: the social challenge with emphasis on the conditions for change : proceedings of the 2nd VHU Conference on Science for Sustainable Development, Linköping, Sweden, 6-7 September 2007 / [ed] B. Frostell, Å. Danielsson, L. Hagberg, B.-O. Linnér, E. Lisberg Jensen, Uppsala: Föreningen Vetenskap för Hållbar Utveckling (VHU) , 2008, p. 221-229Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter we argue in favour of transparent accounting for ecological and social sustainability. Such accounting serves as a warning against economism by highlighting the social and ecological costs of economic growth that is accompanied by growing social inequalities, dissolution of trust and reciprocity in society, as well as by ecological destruction.

We do this in four steps. First we briefly note that many analysts (including us – the two authors) are tempted to choose between two extremes. Either you settle for a one-dimensional measure, or you include so many dimensions that the end result becomes impossible to grasp. Secondly, we present an economic measure of the value of ecological services which we view as useful inter alia in order to establish ecological concerns in a society where economic considerations still dominate. Thirdly, we elaborate a new measure to “green” the Human Development Index, which we call the Sustainable Human Development Index. Fourthly, we discuss two problems with the SHDI: Substitutability and Modernity. We pursue our discussion against the background of the fact that the GDP still commands a unique position of influence over the social discourse of sustainability.

However, the powerful position of this reductionist concept can be turned around to serve the interest of sustainability, in two ways. Firstly, by using economic measures of sustainability in order to argue for more demanding policies; and secondly, by reminding ourselves that even reductionist measures may serve good purposes, as when GDP calculations were part of the process of estimating available economic resources which in turn contributed to making the welfare state possible after the second world war.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Föreningen Vetenskap för Hållbar Utveckling (VHU) , 2008. p. 221-229
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-2196Libris ID: 11304317ISBN: 978-91-633-3660-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-2196DiVA, id: diva2:118858
Conference
2nd VHU Conference on Science for Sustainable Development, Linköping, Sweden, 6-7 September 2007
Projects
INFLOWAvailable from: 2008-08-27 Created: 2008-08-27 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Hollander, Ernst

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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