Human Ecology and Public Policy: Overcoming the Hegemony of Economics

Democracy and Nature 8 (1):131-141 (2002)
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The thinking of those with the power to formulate and implement public policy is now almost totally dominated by the so-called science of economics. While efforts have been made to supplement or modify economics to make it less brutal or less environmentally blind, here it is suggested that economics is so fundamentally flawed and that it so completely dominates the culture of late modern capitalism (or postmodernity) that a new master human science is required to displace it and provide an alternative coordinating framework for research and for defining reality. This could then provide an alternative basis for formulating public policy. It is argued that if human ecology is to fill this role, it will must be developed on consistently anti-reductionist foundations, and that such a social science would totally reorient public policy from a domain for power elites to a domain for genuinely democratic societies to define and control their destinies.

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Arran Gare
Swinburne University of Technology


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