Version 2.0

Contributors: Spash, Clive, Prof. Dr. (WU)


I am an economist who writes, researches and teaches on public policy. My main interests are interdisciplinary research on human behaviour, environmental values and the transformation of the world political economy to a more socially and environmentally just system.

Clive ist Ökonom und schreibt, lehrt und forscht zu menschlichem Verhalten, ökologischen Werten und der Transformation der politischen Ökonomie der Welt in ein System, das von größerer sozialer und Umweltgerechtigkeit geprägt ist. Seine Arbeit ist interdisziplinär. Er ist Professor für Public Policy & Governance an der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien.

Scientific paper contribution 1: A Social Ecological Economic Perspective on Transformation
The paper is co-authored by Dr. Christian Kerschner

Abstract: This paper is part of the special session called: “Exploring Transformation to a Radical Alternative Gesellschaft: Economy, Ethics, Ecology” (RAGE). All papers in this session will be 10 minutes and presented in the first hour of the session. The paper is a first attempt to map the contributions of Social Ecological Economics (SEE) to research on transformation of society and economy to a radical alternative from the present capitalist systems. The paper reviews the literature on SEE in terms of approaches to and research perspectives on the concept of social transformation. We use the term transformation as indicating a major and substantive re-formation of structure and conduct in society, rather than a transit to an slightly different order (i.e. transition). We focus on the objects, subjects and means for transformation as discussed implicitly or explicitly by the field of SEE

Scientific paper contribution 2: Values and Ethics in an Alternative Degrowth Society
Abstract: The values of modern industrial growth society are instrumental, anthropocentric and hedonistic. These contrast with the values of many others in society and their desires for a better world. For example, the environmental movement promotes non-humans, feminists call for a caring and inclusive economy and Marxists point to the social and community values of a less oppressive world. What are the values that would make for a better world and how can they be sustained? This paper gives a brief overview of some key aspects of the major value systems prevalent in Western societies. The three main meta-ethical systems are utilitarianism, rights (deontology), and virtue ethics. While this classification is Western in origin the systems they describe can be seen as operative in many countries and all major industrialising economies tend towards a utilitarian mode of ethical conduct. As part of the RAGE special session this talk will briefly (in 10 mins.) outline key aspects of these debates on values and ethics in order to inform the discussion on alternatives.

Scientific paper contribution 3: A Future Social Ecological Economy: Reality-Transformation-Utopia
The challenge that confronts modern society consists of a dangerous lock-in to a world of production and consumption that promotes hedonism, competition, inequity and exploitation. The orthodox economic science supporting this system fails to take account of biophysical or social reality in its models. Some basic reconceptualisation is necessary in light of our current knowledge about the material and energy throughput of modern economies and their impacts on the environment. The challenge is one that leads to a simple initial conclusion that transformation to a better world will require confronting and defeating the major power holders in society today’s political economy. Research cannot afford to be limited by what orthodox economists and neo-liberals in the existing power structure argue is ‘practical’, and neither should activists limit themselves to be pragmatic by conforming to the existing power discourse. Conceptualising an alternative set of utopian visions is a necessary part of promoting the changes needed.