Center Events Publications Research Center Launching For members

EcoMac - Økologisk makroøkonomi og bæredygtig omstilling

Project period
1. May 2013 - 30. April 2016
DIST Partners The velux Foundation


Society faces a number of serious and interdependent environmental and economic crises, which together can be seen as constituting a systemic crisis. Dominant economic theories as well as current political measures offer completely inadequate responses to this crisis. It is, therefore, necessary to rethink economic theory and develop more radical suggestions for institutional changes that cope with the different crises in a coherent way.

The aim of this project is to contribute to the development of an ecological macroeconomics that, in contrast to both neoliberal and Keynesian perspectives on the economic crisis, incorporates the solution of climate and environmental problems in the design of macroeconomic strategies. The challenge is to resolve the dilemma that, on the one hand, economic growth increases the global environmental and distributional problems, and on the other hand, negative growth implies social problems and the risk of social collapse. Therefore, the key concern must be to transform society in ways that make it prosper without economic growth.

As a contribution to the development of an ecological macroeconomics and to promote sustainable transition, the project has three focus areas:

•Critical analyses of the underlying assumptions upon which much economic policy with implications for sustainability is premised, with the aim of developing policies based on alternative assumptions.

•The role of economic institutions for sustainable transition and the possibilities for changing these institutions.

•Popularising the basic ideas in ecological economics and related heterodox strands of thought like market sociology.

The primary theoretical framework for the project is ecological economics, which is applied both to challenge traditional understandings of current economic-political problems and as a point of departure for the formulation of constructive ideas for alternative paths of development. In addition, the project draws on broader macroeconomic discussion, perspectives from market sociology, and theory about sustainable transition.