Contributors: Westra, Richard, Dr. (Nagoya University, Japan)
Richard Westra is Designated Professor at the Graduate School of Law, Nagoya University, Japan. He has authored and edited 10 books. His newest book, Exit from Globalization is forthcoming from Routledge in November 2014. He received his PH.D. from Queen's University, Canada in 2001.
Scientific paper contribution: Principles for Institutional Design of Future Degrowth Eco-sustainable Societies
Abstract: The “end of growth” still leaves questions for the design of future sustainable societies. The argument of this paper is that economic choices for the new societies are not unlimited and forms of economy cannot simply be conjured up ex nihilo. Anthropologist David Graeber, economic historian Karl Polanyi and political economist Karl Marx each have produced typologies of possible types of economy. This article synthesizes these into three basic principles – the principle of individual reciprocity, the market principle of capitalism and the planning principle of the state. The article then applies this synthesis to debate sparked by recent proposals for degrowth socioeconomic change. At the center of discussion is remaking of market operations around Adam Smith’s original view of markets as face-to-face exchanges of goods taking place in small morality bound communities. My argument is that this view conflates two different meanings of the term “market.” One meaning is that of the market principle of capitalism, the other, market in the sense of sharing or individual reciprocity.