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Scientific paper


Buddhist Economics beyond Schumacher - How can contemporary research on Buddhist Economics inform degrowth- approaches?

Katharina Hirschbrunn

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Degrowth Conference Leipzig 2014


Buddhist Economics, Sufficiency, Feminist Economics, Work, Employment

Abstract: Schumacher’s seminal book “Small is beautiful” on Buddhist Economics (1973) forms one of the foundations of degrowth. Contemporary research on Buddhist Economics (BEC) still shares central assumptions with degrowth: Humans are interdependent with nature and with other humans, and well-being cannot be increased indefinitely by material consumption. But after Schumacher, the two approaches evolved isolated from each other. This is striking, as BEC can support degrowth in three ways: First, its deep understanding of human psychology, which largely accords with modern psychology, explains the results of happiness research. This descriptive power regarding consumerism alleviates degrowth in a central shortcoming: to render sufficiency attractive to the broad public. Second, BEC provides measures how to shape economy at community, national and global level, while offering valuable links to feminist economics. Third, experiences with BEC at community and national level feature practical insights. I exemplify these three domains by particularly considering work/employment.

There is no paper for this media entry. This was a contribution to a scientific session at the 4th International Degrowth Conference in Leipzig in 2014, which doesn't exist in written format or is not published under open access.

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