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Economics for substantive democracy

Manuel Branco

Review of Social Economy, 2016, vol. 74, issue 4, 369-389

Abstract: In this paper, I sustain that the discourse of economics has become one of the most substantial contributors to the erosion of the democratic ideal. The first argument used in this case against economics concerns its attempt to be considered a neo-naturalistic science; the second, the fact that economics considers democracy contradictory to the expression of its scientific rationality and; the third, the fact that economics crowds out people from decision-making processes by pushing them into the hands of experts. Because partisan political programmes have essentially become economic programmes, economics should contribute to substantive democracy. In order to do so, an alternative discourse to mainstream economics must be proposed. An economics favourable to substantive democracy should, thereby, be political rather than naturalistic, pluralist rather than monist and, instead of crowding out people from decisions processes, should aim at the co-production of economic knowledge with those concerned by the outcome of economic decisions.

Date: 2016
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Working Paper: Economics for Substantive Democracy (2014) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1080/00346764.2016.1171382

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