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Frontier Issues in Ecological Economics

Frontier Issues in Ecological Economics

Philip Lawn

Ecological economics formally emerged in the late 1980s in response to the failure of mainstream economic paradigms to deal adequately with the interdependence of social, economic and ecological systems. Frontier Issues in Ecological Economics focuses on a range of cutting-edge issues in the field of ecological economics and outlines plausible measures to achieve a more sustainable, just, and efficient world for all.

Chapter 15: Keynes, International Governance Arrangements and Globalisation

Philip Lawn

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics, environment, ecological economics


INTRODUCTION This book has so far dealt with the sustainable development issue from a domestic or national perspective. Apart from a reference to the pollution haven hypothesis as a potential cause for the different Environmental Kuznets Curves of the rich North and poor South (Chapter 12), and another brief reference to the employment consequences of globalisation (Chapter 14), the international dimension has been largely overlooked. One cannot, however, continue in this vein. Indeed, the international dimension may prove to be the most crucial of all areas of concern. Part V of this book explores the international dimension of sustainable development by focusing on the role played by the international mobility of financial capital, the effectiveness or otherwise of major intergovernmental development conferences, and the influence of key institutions such as the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund. The importance of these three institutions provides a convenient opportunity to explore the international dimension from a somewhat novel perspective – that is, by surmising what John Maynard Keynes, if he was alive today, would make of the rising globalisation phenomenon. Why Keynes? Keynes was an economist who had a profound influence on economic policy and the formation of international governance arrangements in the twentieth century. During the thirty years following World War II, economic policy was based almost entirely on the macroeconomic theory that Keynes developed in response to the 1930s Great Depression. Moreover, it was largely because of Keynes’ intellectual leadership that the...

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