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The Political Economy of Managing Without Growth

  • Peter Venton
Conference paper
  • 9 Downloads

Abstract

Political economy includes the principles of the social sciences of economics, political science and sociology that apply to economic systems in political regimes. This chapter describes the political regimes of democracy and oligarchy in terms of their principles, institutions and purposes. Political economy is defined and analyzed to show that the implicit purpose of oligarchies requires a much higher rate of economic growth than democracies regire. Since World War II, Canadian governments established economic growth as a paramount policy objective. It is argued that this objective is central to a political regime of oligarchies and that Canadian governance has de facto been oligarchic. The results have been an excessive rate of economic growth, a substantial increase in economic inequality and degradation of the nation’s environment all of which are inconsistent with the common good of democracy. Democratic outcomes can be achieved with a much lower rate of economic growth than has been the case in Canada especially since 1979. An example of policies of political economy for achieving democratic outcomes in Canada is taken from environmental economist Peter Victor’s book Managing Without Growth. Victor shows how the rate of Canada’s economic growth over a 30-year period could be reduced by 50% and at the same time, the incidence of poverty would be reduced by 50% while greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 31%.

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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Venton
    • 1
  1. 1.Canadian Peace Research AssociationLondonCanada

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