گالتانگ مطابق با دلی : چارچوبی برای پرداختن به نابرابری در اقتصاد محیط زیست
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|8774||2013||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7370 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 93, September 2013, Pages 269–277
Since World War II, economic growth has been the leading policy goal in efforts to eradicate poverty. There is strong evidence that this strategy has gone hand in hand with increasing inequity and environmental degradation. We need concepts that will help us understand the inadequacies of the current economic system. We propose drawing from the ideas of sociologist Johan Galtung on social power structures, and those of economist Herman Daly on the physical features of the economy. A fusion of these perspectives creates a novel framework for analysis and a basis to formulate alternatives to the current growth strategy.
1.1. Observations on our Economic Behaviour It is almost unconditionally accepted that economic growth over the past half-century has improved living standards around the world. However, not everyone has received a fair share; along with a six-fold increase in global average income over the past half a century, the gap between rich and poor has widened substantially. Already in the early 1970s, Johan Galtung observed ‘two of the most glaring facts about this world: the tremendous inequality,1 within and between nations, in almost all aspects of human living conditions, including the power to decide over those living conditions; and the resistance of this inequality to change’ (Galtung, 1971, p. 81). After forty years, his observation earned further validity; with some fluctuations, the ratio of the income (as GDP per capita) of the richest 20% countries to that of the poorest 20% rose from 21 to 1 in 1960, to 121 to 1 in 2008 (based on data from World Bank, 2011) (Fig. 1). The gap is also growing when incomes are adjusted for differences in costs of living (UNDP, 2010).Fig. 1 indicates an increase in the relative gap in living conditions; it does not tell us what is happening to poverty as absolute deprivation. According to the World Bank, the total number of poor has remained relatively steady. The number of extreme poor (living on less than US$ 1 a day) rose from 1.2 billion in 1987 to 1.3 billion in the early 1990s (World Bank, 2000). It then declined to a little under 1.1 billion in 20032 (World Bank, 2007). Whether or not to rely on economic growth (in GDP) as the main engine for improving living standards is a question that generates considerable debate, but one thing should be quite clear: economic growth has not resolved the poverty problem. On the contrary, such a persistent and widening gap as we see today is alarming. A second observation is the degradation of our natural environment. Almost forty years ago, Meadows and Forrester called attention to the resource limits of the Western way of life based on on-going economic growth (Meadows et al., 1972). A few years later, Herman Daly noted that alongside a doubling of world consumption every 17–18 years, ‘the biophysical facts have asserted themselves in the form of increasing ecological scarcity: depletion, pollution and ecological disruption’ (Daly, 1977, p. 3). Growth in the demand for food, water, timber, fibre and fuel over the past fifty years has led to land degradation, eutrophication, loss of coral reefs, water depletion, increasing deforestation, loss of biodiversity, species extinction, and so on (UNDP, 2011). A reasonable proxy for measuring these ecological impacts is the carbon footprint per capita. National contributions to this problem vary greatly, both historically and globally (Fig. 2) but the overall increase in per capita carbon emissions over a long period of economic growth is indisputable.The data charted in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 supports a striking, yet long-established observation that economic growth is positively correlated with rising inequity and ecological degradation. It must be noted that these charts show the average per capita income and carbon emissions, respectively. They do not account for the unequal distribution patterns within nations. The gap between, say, a typical rural Bangladeshi and a typical wealthy urban American is therefore much wider than in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. The UNDP (2010) states that rising income inequity within countries (as Gini coefficient) is the norm: for every country where inequity has improved in the past thirty years, in more than two it has worsened. This gives rise to a serious dilemma because our main framework for addressing these detrimental trends is based on the promotion of further economic growth. It is unlikely that this will change any time soon. Today's dominant economic system does not just promote growth, it ‘can no more be “persuaded” to limit growth than a human being can be “persuaded” to stop breathing’ (Bookchin, 1990, p. 94). When growth falters, companies are outcompeted, a recession looms, banks collapse, businesses foreclose and people lose employment. Economic growth is indispensable to prevent collapse of the current system of production and consumption. It has therefore been the most important policy goal, both nationally and globally (Blauwhof, 2012 and Jackson, 2009). This seems to imply that in the absence of very fundamental systemic changes, the social and ecological harm is likely to be perpetuated as well. Here we must dwell briefly on the issue of population growth, which is often conveniently put forward as a scapegoat, obviating the more uncomfortable necessity of examining our economic system. Many argue that the current environmental crisis results from the impact of a growing number of poor taking on the same habits of resource exploitation as the rich. The growing levels of carbon emissions in China, Brazil and India are often regarded as writing on the wall. The flaw in this argument is that the (increasing) ecological footprints in those countries are largely the result of industrial and agricultural production to supply a disproportionate amount of goods to the rich (including those nations' wealthier urban centres). We therefore take the view that growth of globalised production is the cause for much of the environmental disruption in the South. This contributes to highly insecure living conditions for the poor (UNDP, 2011), which is, in turn, at least partly responsible for high rates of population growth. On this note, we revert to the issue of economic growth. 1.2. Comments on the Quality of Growth There have been several attempts to measure the simultaneous occurrence of economic growth and increasing social and ecological costs (O'Neill, 2011). While it has limitations, the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW) is possibly the most comprehensive instrument (it is now called the Genuine Progress Indicator). It combines social factors, income inequities and environmental deterioration (Daly et al., 1990). For a range of countries, ISEW and GNP run parallel for a while, after which they uncouple and ISEW declines or even drops. While the specific periods and levels of deterioration vary per nation, the general picture can be seen in Fig. 3. The US surpassed its optimal point in the early 1970s, after which the ISEW plummeted; the UK and Australia peaked in the mid-1970s; Germany, Austria and the Netherlands in the early 1980s (Lawn, 2006 and Max-Neef, 1995).Economist Manfred Max-Neef proposes a ‘Threshold Hypothesis’ that states that ‘for every society there seems to be a period in which economic growth (as conventionally measured) brings about an improvement in the quality of life, but only up to a point–the threshold point–beyond which, if there is more economic growth, quality of life may begin to deteriorate’ (Max-Neef, 1995, p. 117). The findings suggest that economic growth is qualitatively better in the earlier rather than in the latter stages. There is a point in a country's economic evolution where quantitative growth must metamorphose into qualitative development (Daly, 1977 and Max-Neef, 1995). Roughly prior to the 1970s (the first part of the graph on the left in Fig. 3), economic growth in the North (measured in GNP) favoured improvements in the overall quality of life (measured in ISEW) that were reasonably equitably shared among the population. A similar dynamic in the South today is unlikely, given that much of the early growth in the North was made possible by externalising social and ecological costs to the South. Increase in quality of life in the South also seems improbable since much of the current economic growth is achieved by concentrating investments in the export sector at the expense of basic public health and education services for the poorest population sections within those nations (Adelman and Morris, 1973 and Stiglitz, 2002). If we are indeed locked into an economic system where quantitative growth of production and consumption has become an essential precondition for its own perpetuation, how are we to truly address the environmental disruption and inequity emerging from this very system? Further spiralling growth and associated harm brings to mind the cat chasing and biting its own tail. Apparently, another economic system is required. In this paper, we propose a conceptual framework that adequately recognises the challenges. We will first describe the concepts on which the framework is based. We will then present their integration and illustrate their application to real world situations.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Over the past several decades, the consequences of our economic behaviour have become more evident—especially the escalating inequity. The most recognisable manifestation of this is the income gap, which has increased alongside exponential growth in GDP. Another manifestation can be observed in terms of hardships from the pressures of environmental degradation, which have disproportionately affected the poor. These detrimental social and environmental trends are persistent because of the system's inherent dependency on and devotion to economic growth. To avoid further plunging, a new economic system is needed. We suggest that a useful alternative framework emerges by combining Daly's concept of capital stock with Galtung's concept of Core/Periphery. The resulting Dual Capital structure tells us to be mindful of three facets of inequity: ownership, entitlement and control. The latter is a particularly critical factor in development; control over the maintenance inflow into the capital stock generates the system's dynamic behaviour, as well as its future composition, distribution and quality. Through relatively arbitrary illustrations, we attempted to show the applicability of the Dual Capital structure to a diverse range of themes and topics. The framework not only helps in analysing different facets of inequity, it also helps in identifying strategies that can assist in reducing marginalisation. Our project activities in Bangladesh were strongly influenced by this new conceptual framework. Over the past 6 years, the ownership and entitlement aspects of our drinking water programme have been addressed. The more difficult and crucial task of ensuring that control is properly handed over locally will be our focus in the coming years. The Dual Capital structure will provide guidance, but we are also expecting it to be further tested and refined depending on what comes up in practice. This will be reported in future publication.