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The economics of utopia: a co-evolutionary model of ideas, citizenship and socio-political change

Isabel Almudi (), Francisco Fatas-Villafranca (), Luis Izquierdo () and Jason Potts ()
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Jason Potts: RMIT University

Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2017, vol. 27, issue 4, No 1, 629-662

Abstract: Abstract We propose a new history-friendly approach to evolutionary socio-economic dynamics based around competition between five ‘utopias’ as central ideas about which to order society: capitalism, socialism, civil liberty, nature, and nationalism. In our model, citizens contribute economic resources to support their preferred utopia, and societal dynamics are explained as a co-evolutionary process between these competing utopias. We apply the model to analyze certain aspects of socio-economic and political change in the US from the 1960s–present. We carry out a history-friendly analysis inspired by such episodes as the outbreak of civil movements in the 1970s, the rise of neo-liberalism in the 1980s, and the channels through which America has engendered an ‘age of fracture’. Further applications for empirical and theoretical research are suggested.

Keywords: Utopia; Citizen; Subsystem; Political economy; Co-evolutionary modeling; B52; O57; P16; P51; Z10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s00191-017-0507-7

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