‘Towards a Concrete Utopian Model of Green Political Economy’

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    Abstract

    Much of the thinking about the appropriate ‘political economy’ to underpin sustainable development has been either utopian (as in some ‘green’ political views) or ‘business as usual’ approaches. This article suggests that ‘ecological modernisation’ is the dominant conceptualisation of ‘sustainable development’ within the UK and other ‘developed’ Northern polities and most corporate/business interests, and illustrates this by looking at some key ‘sustainable development’ policy documents from the UK Government. While critical of the reformist ‘policy telos’ of ecological modernisation, supporters of a more radical version of sustainable development need to also be aware of the strategic opportunities of this policy discourse. In particular, the article suggests that the discourse of ‘economic security’, which can be attached to a radicalised notion of ecological modernisation, ought to be used as a way of articulating a radical, robust and principled understanding of sustainable development, which offers a normatively compelling and policy-relevant path to outlining aspects of a ‘green political economy’ to underpin sustainable development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-25
    Number of pages21
    JournalPost-Autistic Economics Review
    Volume36
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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