The Growth Spiral

Author: Hans Christoph Binswanger
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3642318819
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book develops a new theory of the modern economy. Conventional economic theory is (still) based on an essentially static notion of equilibrium. In contrast, this book offers an analysis of the economic process based on a truly dynamic approach. It understands modern economic activity as manifesting itself in a growth spiral. There are two main drivers of the dynamics of this spiral: steady money creation in the banking system, on the one hand; and the continuous inflow of energy and raw materials through the exploitation of natural resources, on the other. Both driving forces are generally neglected by the conventional theory. Understanding their role is absolutely essential for preventing our economy from being more and more exposed to financial and ecological crises. This book offers important insights about the functioning of the modern economy and addresses the specialist as well as the interested lay reader.

Handbook on Growth and Sustainability

Author: Peter A. Victor
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 1783473568
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This Handbook assembles original contributions from influential authors such as Herman Daly, Paul Ekins, Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Jeroen van den Bergh, William E. Rees and Tim Jackson who have helped to define our understanding of growth and sustainability. The Handbook also presents new contributions on topics such as degrowth, the debt-based financial system, cultural change, energy return on investment, shorter working hours and employment, and innovation and technology. Explorations of these issues can deepen our understanding of whether growth is sustainable and, in turn, whether a move away from growth can be sustained. With issues such as climate change looming large, our understanding of growth and sustainability is critical. This Handbook offers a broad range of perspectives that can help the reader to decide: Growth? Sustainability? Both? Or neither?

Social Banking and Social Finance

Author: Roland Benedikter
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441977748
Format: PDF, Mobi
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For over 2,000 years, banks have served to facilitate the exchange of money and to provide a variety of economic and financial services. During the most recent financial collapse and subsequent recession, beginning in 2008, banks have been vilified as perpetrators of the crisis, the public distrust compounded by massive public bailouts. Nevertheless, another form of banking has also emerged, with a focus on promoting economic sustainability, investing in community, providing opportunity for the disadvantaged, and supporting social, environmental, and ethical agendas. Social Banking and Social Finance traces the emergence of the “bank with a conscience” and proposes a new approach to banking in the wake of the economic crisis. Featuring innovations and initiatives in banking from Europe, Canada, and the United States, Roland Benedikter presents an alternative to traditional banking practices that are focused exclusively on profit maximization. He argues that social banking is not about changing the system, but about improving some of its core features by putting into use the "triple bottom line" principle of profit-people-planet. Important lessons can be learned by the success of social banks that may be useful for the greater task of improving the global financial system and avoiding economic crises in the future.

Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics

Author: Clive L. Spash
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 1317395107
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Since becoming formally established with an international academic society in the late 1980s, ecological economics has advanced understanding of the interactions between social and biophysical reality. It initially combined questioning of the basis of mainstream economics with a concern for environmental degradation and limits to growth, but has now advanced well beyond critique into theoretical, analytical and policy alternatives. Social ecological economics and transformation to an alternative future now form core ideas in an interdisciplinary approach combining insights from a range of disciplines including heterodox economics, political ecology, sociology, political science, social psychology, applied philosophy, environmental ethics and a range of natural sciences. This handbook, edited by a leading figure in the field, demonstrates the dynamism of ecological economics in a wide-ranging collection of state-of-the-art essays. Containing contributions from an array of international researchers who are pushing the boundaries of the field, the Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics showcases the diversity of the field and points the way forward. A critical analytical perspective is combined with realism about how economic systems operate and their essential connection to the natural world and society. This provides a rich understanding of how biophysical reality relates to and integrates with social reality. Chapters provide succinct overviews of the literature covering a range of subject areas including: heterodox thought on the environment; society, power and politics, markets and consumption; value and ethics; science and society; methods for evaluation and policy analysis; policy challenges; and the future post-growth society. The rich contents dispel the myth of there being no alternatives to current economic thought and the political economy it supports. The Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics provides a guide to the literature on ecological economics in an informative and easily accessible form. It is essential reading for those interested in exploring and understanding the interactions between the social, ecological and economic and is an important resource for those interested in fields such as: human ecology, political ecology, environmental politics, human geography, environmental management, environmental evaluation, future and transition studies, environmental policy, development studies and heterodox economics.

Foundations of Economic Evolution

Author: Carsten Herrmann-Pillath
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
ISBN: 178254836X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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ÔThis book is an ambitious intellectual enterprise to build a naturalistic foundation for economics, with amazingly vast knowledge of physical, biological, social sciences and philosophy. Readers will discover that approaches and insights emergent in institutional studies, (social)-neuroscience, network theory, ecological economics, bio-culture dualistic evolution, etc. are persuasively placed in a grand unified frame. It is written in a good Hayekian tradition. I recommend this book particularly to young readers who aspire to go beyond a narrowly specified discipline in the age of expanding communicability of knowledge and ideas.Õ Ð Masahiko Aoki, Stanford University, US ÔCarsten Herrmann-PillathÕs new book is an in-depth application of natural philosophy to economics that draws up an entirely new framework for economic analysis. It offers path-breaking insights on the interactions between human economic activity and nature and outlines a convincing solution to the long-standing reductionism controversy. A must-read for everyone interested in the philosophical underpinnings of economics as a science.Õ Ð Ulrich Witt, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, Germany ÔÒBig pictureÓ philosophy of economics drifted into a dull cul-de-sac as it became obsessively focused on falsifiability and rationality. In this book Carsten Herrmann-Pilath pushes the field back onto the open highway by locating economics in the larger frameworks of metaphysics, evolutionary dynamics and information theory. This is large-scale, ambitious synthesis of ideas of the kind we expect from time to time to see devoted to physics and biology. Why should economics merit anything less? But of course this kind of intellectual tapestry must await the appearance of an unusually devoted scholar with special patience and eccentric independence from the pressure for quick returns that characterizes academic life. In the person of Hermann-Pilath this scholar has appeared. No one who wants to examine economics whole and in its richest context should miss his virtuoso performance in this book.Õ Ð Don Ross, University of Cape Town, South Africa and Georgia State University, US ÔHerrmann-PillathÕs work attempts to bring to bear upon the discipline of economics perspectives from other discourses which have been burgeoning recently Ð namely, thermodynamics, evolutionary biology, and semiotics, aiming at a consilience contextualized by economic activity and problems. This marks the work as a contemporary example of natural philosophy, which is now at the doorstep of a revival. The overall perspective is that human economic activity is an aspect of the ecology of the earthÕs surface, viewing it as an evolving physical system mediated through distributed mentality as expressed in technology evolution. Knowledge is taken to be ÔphysicalÕ with a performative function, as in PeirceÕs pragmaticism. Thus, the social meanings of expectations, prices, and credit are found to be rooted in energy flows. The work draws its foundation from Hegel and C.S. Peirce and its immediate guidance from Hayek, Veblen and Georescu-Roegen. The author generates an energetic theory of economic growth, guided by OdumÕs maximum power principle. Economic discourse itself is reworked in the final chapter, in light of the examinations of the previous chapters, naturalizing economics within an extremely powerful contemporary framework.Õ Ð Stanley N. Salthe, Binghamton University, US ÔAn Oscar-winning performance in the Òtheatre of consilience.Ó ItÕs hard to know which to praise first: Carsten Herrmann-PillathÕs humility or his ambition. He says his book Òis not a great intellectual featÓ because he pursues the Òhumble taskÓ of putting together Òthe ideas of others.Ó When he finally gets to economics he tries to Òbe as simple as possibleÓ and to conceive of economics in terms of the basics, at Òundergraduate level, so to say.Ó On the other hand, the scale of his ambition is to rethink the foundations of economics from first principles, while, at the same time, holding a running dialogue between contemporary sciences and classic philosophy. HeÕs much too modest, of course, because Foundations is a major achievement, but his modesty points to what makes it such a powerful treatise: the book is not about his preferences or prejudices; it is a Òscientific approach that aims at establishing truthful propositions about reality.Ó That is much harder to achieve than grand theories or Òcomplicated mathematics,Ó because it amounts to a new modern synthesis of the field Ð an achievement on a par with Julian HuxleyÕs, whose own modern synthesis of evolutionary theories in the 1940s allowed for the explosive growth of the biosciences over the next decades. The structure of the book is simple enough, providing a framework for the Ònaturalistic turnÓ in economics. Starting from material existence, causation and evolution, Herrmann-Pillath takes us through four fundamental concepts Ð individuals, networks, institutions and technology Ð before coming finally to the Òrealm of economics proper,Ó i.e. markets. However, Herrmann-Pillath believes that the Òfoundations of economics cannot be found within economicsÓ but only in dialogue with other sciences, or what he calls the Òtheatre of consilience.Ó ItÕs a theatre in which various characters come and go, where dialogue ebbs and flows, conflicts arise and are resolved, and where individual actions can be seen as concepts as, leading to higher levels of meaning as the plot unfolds. The magic of theatre, of course, is that the point of intelligibility, where the characters, actions and narrative resolve into meaningfulness, is projected out of the drama itself, into the spectator. ThatÕs you, dear reader. So it is with economics as a discipline. Economics is a player in a much larger performance about what constitutes knowledge, and how we know that. It is also a player in the economy it seeks to explain. To understand why money, firms, growth, prices, markets and other staples of economic thought emerge and function the way they do, it is necessary situate the analysis beyond economics (and the economy), and to engage with developments across the human, evolutionary and complexity sciences. This is what Herrmann-Pillath does, analyzing a breathtaking range of illuminating and sometimes challenging work along the way. We are treated to new ideas about the externalized brain, the evolution of knowledge in the Earth System (i.e. not just among humans), the role of signs and performativity in these processes, as well as that of Òenergetic transformations.Ó But Herrmann-Pillath is not satisfied with the ÒmodestÓ task of bringing the best of modern scientific thought to bear on economic concepts and performances; he really does harbor a deeper purpose. The clue is in his apparently quixotic desire to hang on to philosophical insights associated with pre-evolutionary thinkers like Aristotle and Hegel, and his apparently eccentric desire to place the semiotic philosophy of C.S. Pierce at center stage. But the patient observer will see that he is not seeking to change the facts by imposing idealist notions on them after the event. Instead, he is arguing for a change in the way we perform ourselves in the face of these facts. He is looking for a modern-day equivalent of Confucius or Socrates: one who can imagine values and beliefs that Òdefine the human species in a new way.Ó For those who have eyes to see, as the drama unfolds, it may be that we have found such a figure in Carsten Herrmann-Pillath himself, modesty, ambition and all. This is ÒCultural ScienceÓ as it should be done.Õ Ð John Hartley, Curtin University, Australia and Cardiff University, UK

The New Depression

Author: Richard Duncan
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118157796
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Introduces a new theoretical construct, The Quantity Theory of Credit, discusses how paper money creation is the only thing keeping the global economy from collapse, and provides practical advice for the coming instability.

Spiral Dynamics

Author: Don Edward Beck
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1118779150
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Spiral Dynamics introduces a new model for plotting the enormous economic and commercial shifts that are making contemporary business practice so complex and apparently fragmented. Focusing on cutting-edge leadership, management systems, processes, procedures, and techniques, the authors synthesize changes such as: Increasing cultural diversity. Powerful new social responsibility initiatives. The arrival of a truly global marketplace. This is an inspiring book for managers, consultants, strategists, and leaders planning for success in the business world in the 21st century.

Capital in the Twenty First Century

Author: Thomas Piketty
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674979850
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The main driver of inequality—returns on capital that exceed the rate of economic growth—is again threatening to generate extreme discontent and undermine democratic values. Thomas Piketty’s findings in this ambitious, original, rigorous work will transform debate and set the agenda for the next generation of thought about wealth and inequality.