Welfare is commonly conceptualized in socio-economic terms of equity, highlighting distributive issues within growing economies. While GDP, income growth and rising material standards of living are normally not questioned as priorities in welfare theories and policy making, there is growing evidence that Western welfare standards are not generalizable to the rest of the planet if environmental concerns, such as resource depletion or climate change, are considered.
Sustainability and the Political Economy of Welfare raises the issue of what is required to make welfare societies ecologically sustainable. Consisting of three parts, this book regards the current financial, economic and political crisis in welfare state institutions and addresses methodological, theoretical and wider conceptual issues in integrating sustainability. Furthermore, this text is concerned with the main institutional obstacles to the achievement of sustainable welfare and wellbeing, and how these may feasibly be overcome. How can researchers assist policymakers in promoting synergy between economic, social and environmental policies conducive to globally sustainable welfare systems?
Co-authored by a variety of cross-disciplinary contributors, a diversity of research perspectives and methods is reflected in a unique mixture of conceptual chapters, historical analysis of different societal sectors, and case studies of several EU countries, China and the US. This book is well suited for those who are interested in and study welfare, ecological economics and political economy.
Introduction: Research on sustainable welfare: State of the art and outline of the book - Max Koch and Oksana Mont
PART I: Perspectives on Sustainable Welfare
Chapter 1: The concept of sustainable welfare - Eric Brandstedt and Maria Emmelin
Chapter 2: Human needs, steady-state economics and sustainable welfare - Max Koch and Hubert Buch-Hansen
Chapter 3: Reconceptualizing prosperity – Some reflections on the impact of globalization on health and welfare - Maria Emmelin and Kate Soper
Chapter 4: The future is not what it used to be: On the roles and function of assumptions in visions of the future - Eric Brandstedt and Oksana Mont
PART II: Policies Towards Establishing Sustainable Welfare
Chapter 5: Green political economy: Policies for and obstacles to sustainable welfare - Jamil Khan and Eric Clark
Chapter 6: Climate change and the welfare state: Do we see a new generation of social risks emerging? - Håkan Johansson, Jamil Khan and Roger Hildingsson
Chapter 7: Market solutions to climate change: Examples of of personal carbon trading and rationing - Roger Hildingsson and Max Koch
Chapter 8: The changing landscape of work time reduction: The past and the future - Oksana Mont
PART III: Emerging Practices of Sustainable Welfare
Chapter 9: Transitions towards degrowth and sustainable welfare: Carbon emission reduction and wealth and income distribution in France, the US and China - Hubert Buch-Hansen, Annika Pissin and Erin Kennedy
Chapter 10: Social economy and green social enterprises: Production for sustainable welfare? - Eric Clark and Håkan Johansson
Chapter 11: What is possible, what is imaginable? Stories about low carbon life in China - Erin Kennedy and Annika Pissin
Chapter 12: The interaction of policy and experience: An ‘alternative hedonist’ optic - Kate Soper
Conclusion: Looking back, looking forward: Results and future research directions - Oksana Mont and Max Koch