Category archives for Sustainability

Austerity has transformed the meaning and morality of work in the UK

Craig Berry

Measuring economic success through levels of employment obscures the unsustainable and oppressive nature of the UK’s recovery Work has of course always been central to capitalist organisation, since the ability of capital to extract surplus value from labour is at the essential core of accumulation processes. In post-crisis UK, however, work has become not only integral to the function of … Continue reading

19 July 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Employment, Europe and the EU, Rethinking Recovery, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: political economy and the ‘other crisis’

Martin Craig

How we diagnose and respond to the ‘socio-ecological’ crisis is essential to our understanding of any ‘coming crisis’ These are anxious times for political economists, as this blog series attests. A crisis is coming (if it’s not already upon us). Decisive changes are needed to avoid dire consequences. But what exactly is this ‘coming crisis’? At first sight the prior … Continue reading

1 June 2016 by
Categories: Climate change, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, The coming crisis | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: systemic stabilization and the investment state

A new ‘investment state’ is needed to provide stability in the new uncertain political economy of shadow money, financial instability and demand deficiency We live in an era characterised by a confusing evolutionary dynamic relationship between financial innovation, the state and patterns of investment that we barely understand. At the core of this conundrum is the little understood issue of … Continue reading

18 May 2016 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Finance, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, The coming crisis | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Steel Crisis: Government, Multinationals and Regional Imbalance

Ewan Gibbs

Concerns about regional economies mean that even in an increasingly financialised and globalised steel sector the government is maintaining stewardship responsibilities Steel, the essential raw material widely understood as the precondition for industrial development, has been thrust into the centre of the debate about the UK’s economic future by the threatened closure of the last major basic mills. Into the … Continue reading

5 May 2016 by
Categories: Austerity, China, Development, Economics, Global crisis, Northern Powerhouse, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: planetary instability

Peter Dauvergne

To solve the escalating environmental crisis the unsustainability of global wealth creation must be confronted, argues Peter Dauvergne in our new ‘coming crisis’ blog. Last year was the hottest ever recorded. And for the first time average global temperatures reached 1°C above pre-industrial times. This was but one sign in 2015 of an escalating global environmental crisis. Rivers of plastic … Continue reading

27 April 2016 by
Categories: Climate change, Environment, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, The coming crisis | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Brazil on the edge: rhetoric and reality in Rousseff’s impeachment proceedings

Giselle Datz

Despite claims of a coup, Brazilian democracy has proved more resilient so far than the country’s crumbling economy On Sunday evening (April 17), more than 71% of Brazilian representatives in the lower house of Congress voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff (in office since 2011). With more than the necessary 69% of votes guaranteed, the process now moves to the … Continue reading

22 April 2016 by
Categories: Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Property taxes, public services and wealth

Tom Goodfellow

Placing property taxation, redistribution and social justice in an ethical context Two weeks ago I was in Addis Ababa at a conference on taxation and development. Unexciting as this might sound to many, questions of tax strike at the heart of social justice.  Why else do many in Britain and elsewhere get so enraged about the existence of tax havens … Continue reading

24 February 2016 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, Tax | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How sustainable are the Anglo-American recoveries?

Jeremy Green

While both countries have experienced comparatively strong growth, divergence on the current account ensures that the UK’s situation looks much more perilous Staggering global payments imbalances are a defining feature of contemporary capitalism. From the 1980s, with the emergence of the ‘neoliberal’ phase of capitalism, two major categories of growth model have emerged: debt-led growth models, marked by current-account deficits, … Continue reading

2 February 2016 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Economics, Global crisis, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, USA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The new view from The Bridge

Re-bordering is emerging in Scandinavia in one of the most symbolically borderless regions in Europe The completion of the Öresund Bridge in 2000 – immortalised in the well-known TV drama – changed both the physical and economic landscape of Denmark and Southern Sweden. The new train service brought the transit time between the two cities of Copenhagen and Malmö to … Continue reading

19 January 2016 by
Categories: Europe and the EU, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SPERI spotlight on the UN climate summit II

On climate change ontologies and the spirit(s) of oil As we know, preparations are underway for the 21st time for a United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) on Climate Change, intended to produce a ‘deal’ for the management and prevention of anthropogenic climate change. Every edit of the text by government negotiators is being scrutinised by those with varying interests … Continue reading

19 November 2015 by
Categories: Climate change, Economics, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, UN Climate Summit | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Searching for a sustainable economic alternative in Britain

Daniel Bailey

The challenge is huge and demands coordinated political action at the European and global levels Craig Berry’s paper at the recent SPERI and IPPR roundtable event on the topic of ‘The British Growth Model: Building a Sustainable Future’ argued that a progressive economic narrative based on the contemporary concerns of the British public was required to usher out the already … Continue reading

4 November 2015 by
Categories: Austerity, Economics, Europe and the EU, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The SDGs on hunger and malnutrition

Ben Richardson

These new goals offer some important changes from the MDG era and provide ‘food for thought’ in the UK So near, yet so far. One of the headline targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to halve the proportion of undernourished people in the world between 1990 and 2015 was almost met.  The distance travelled in this respect, represented by … Continue reading

6 October 2015 by
Categories: Development, Economics, Global crisis, Inequality, Politics and policy, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

The flawed utopianism of the SDG process

Graham Harrison

Everything is premised on an unrealistic understanding of the structures and dynamics of the global political economy Thomas Pogge and Mitu Sengupta set the scene for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as ‘that cosmopolis of the future whose foundations are now being shaped’, offering more than a hint of utopian thinking. The foundations to which the authors refer are the … Continue reading

1 October 2015 by
Categories: Development, Global crisis, Global South, Inequality, Political theory, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The 2030 agenda and the SDGs – a course correction?

Much will depend on the capacity and determination of civil society to leverage the necessary political will A rare sense of euphoria permeated the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York this weekend. The multitude of events that have been taking place on First Avenue and beyond had a party atmosphere. And it … Continue reading

30 September 2015 by
Categories: Development, Inequality, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sustainable Development Goals for all countries

Gail Hurley

Does this signal a paradigm shift in how we have to conceive of ‘development’? 2015 is a major year for international development – or so we’re told.  I’ve written before about the UN’s bold new development programme, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will be agreed in New York in September.  This ambitious new development agenda calls on all governments … Continue reading

30 June 2015 by
Categories: Development, Inequality, Political theory, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The political economy of (ecological) crisis displacement: Part II

Martin Craig

Failure to begin the difficult process of questioning the purposes of economic activity may produce even more intractable ecological crises in the future In the previous post of this series I argued that contemporary climate policy – to the degree that it succeeds – can only achieve a ‘de-carbonisation’ of the political-economic status quo. It does not challenge the ways … Continue reading

23 June 2015 by
Categories: Environment, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Resource security and energy abundance

John Mathews

Unless Western countries intervene in their economies to build green energy and resource systems, they will continue to go down to defeat in this field to China Why is China becoming a renewable energy superpower – even as it becomes the world’s largest carbon emitter?  This is surely one of the more interesting and challenging questions in international political economy … Continue reading

28 May 2015 by
Categories: China, Climate change, Economics, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, trade | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Thought experiments in the political economy of (ecological) crisis displacement: Part 1

Martin Craig

The future crises that we confront depend, above all, on the way we choose to respond to the present ecological crisis With the term ‘crisis’ used so often and so liberally in recent years it’s worth reminding ourselves of the term’s medical etymology: namely, a moment in which the condition of a sick patient deteriorates and ‘decisive intervention’ must be … Continue reading

26 May 2015 by
Categories: Inequality, Political theory, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Leave a comment

Inequality Redux: Conclusion

Tony Payne

This post concludes the series of posts written over the past couple of months by SPERI staff on the different dimensions of inequality that can be identified in the contemporary political economy of Britain.  It notes that inequality has not, however, taken centre-stage in the current British general election campaign.  It asks why the Labour Party in particular has not … Continue reading

23 April 2015 by
Categories: Inequality, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: | Leave a comment

Votes for vocational education?

Sir Keith Burnett

Through advanced apprenticeships, universities and industry can unite to manufacture a more sustainable future for the UK economy In the run up to the General Election, British political parties are vying to show their vision for economic growth, and their support for the development of the vocational skills which will support it. All agree there is a problem, bemoan the … Continue reading

24 March 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Economics, Employment, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , | 1 comment

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