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The research group for studies in democracy, power and citizenship, DEM

Positional Analysis for Sustainable Development 

Decision-making is often prepared through analysis of various alternatives. What kind of methods can be used in such investigations? An extremely technocratic method Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is regularly advocated as part of neoclassical economic theory.

Concluded

Start

2013-06-01

Conclusion

2014-10-15

Collaboration partners

Malgorzata Zeriniowska, University of Marseilles, Frankrike, Judy Brown, University of Wellington, Nya Zeeland

Project manager at MDH

Peter Söderbaum

peter.soderbaum@mdh.se

Description of the project

Project name: Positional Analysis for Sustainable Development. An alternative to neoclassical Cost-Benefit Analysis, CBA.

Decision-making is often prepared through analysis of various alternatives. What kind of methods can be used in such investigations? An extremely technocratic method Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is regularly advocated as part of neoclassical economic theory. Economists dictate how to identify correct values (actual market prices) when aggregating the expected costs and benefits of specific alternatives considered.

In 1973 I presented Positional Analysis (PA) as an alternative approach to analysis at the societal level and also for business companies. Since then the approach has been developed and mainly applied in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Today there is a renewed interest in PA among cooperating partners in France (philosophy and economics) and New Zealand (economics and accounting). PA is a less technocratic approach than CBA and thereby more compatible with democracy. The purpose is to illuminate an issue in a many-sided manner. In this way different ideological orientations can be considered, those more connected with sustainble development included. Conclusions will then be conditional in relation to each ideological orientation considered.

As project leader I have written three chapters in a book for Routledge where three persons are contributing as authors (Söderbaum, Zereniowska, Brown). Hopefully this book (to be published late this year) will lead to a new debate internationally about CBA and alternative approaches.

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