Edited By Bernhard Seliger, Jüri Sepp and Ralph Michael Wrobel
Institutional Change for Creating Capacity and Capability for Sustainable Development - a Club Good Perspective
Although the socio-economic development of many nations during the last two centuries has been very impressive, there are many issues questioning the sustainability of this development. Questions have been raised whether increased consumption will lead to increased happiness, or whether people will become more dependent on growth (Galbraith, 1958). While the so-called consumption society may lead to questionable results for social welfare, the increased use of natural resource and problems of waste, pollution, lack of regeneration of renewable resources and too slow progress in finding substitutes for non-renewable resources pose increasing threats for environmental sustainability (Boulding, 1966; Rao, 2000). These issues are slowly being recognized. However, there still seems to be emphasis on the importance of fundaments of economic growth, while the limits to growth (Meadows et al., 1972) are hardly questioned. Even when these limits to growth are recognized, the techno-centric paradigm seems to prevail (Gladwin et al., 1995). This paradigm, putting it simply, assumes that people seem to believe that economic growth and technological development will solve environmental and social problems. At such a moment, focus remains on growth, while neglecting the type of growth and the necessity for improving different aspects of the quality of life. Aristotle (1995 (330BC)) already argued that possessing material goods is more likely to be considered the fundament of a good life. Spiritual development, while possibly significantly contributing to the quality of life and reducing resource intensity of production, is likely to remain the domain of a...
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