As if the Future Mattered

Translating Social and Economic Theory into Human Behavior
Neva R. Goodwin, Editor
Explores how society can learn to care about the future

Description

There has never been a better time to explore the ways in which values relating to the future can be preserved and nurtured despite contemporary capitalism's tendency toward shortsighted selfishness. Prevailing beliefs in the 1980s were especially permissive regarding notions of individualism. While the concern for the future displayed by human beings throughout history may not be less today than at other times, a wide variance persists in how individuals, firms, and other institutions indicate concern for the future—some act as though only concerned about tomorrow, others as though concerned for perpetuity. Thus it is especially relevant now to inquire what can be done, through changes in institutional arrangements or fashions of thought and perception, to encourage future-regarding tendencies.

These themes are explored in twelve previously unpublished essays by people ranging from the well-known business analyst, Michael Porter, and the past President of the World Bank, Robert McNamara, to Zbigniew Bochniarz, a leading architect of "green plans" in East Central Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and Lisa Gravitz, the President of Co-op America, an organization that assists U.S. businesses adopting socially responsible rules and behaviors. Other contributors include a lawyer, sociologist, political scientist, businessman-turned-foundation director, and three economists.

The volume will be of interest to businesspeople, economists, environmentalists, political scientists, and ethicists.

Neva R. Goodwin is Co-Director and Co-Founder of the Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University.

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Contents

Introduction (Neva R. Goodwin)-1

Part 1: Investment as a Linkn between Present and Future
1. Capital Choices: National Systems of Investment (Micheal E. Porter)-15
2. Economic Meanings of Trust and Responsibility (Neva R. Goodwin)-45
3. A Second Paradox of Thrift: Investment Strategies and the Future (Fred Block)-83
4. Factoring Environmental Issues into Investment and Loan Decisions (George M. Newcombe)-103
5. Economic Regimes, Strategic Investments, and Entrepreneurial Enterprises: Notes toward a Theory of Economic Developments (David Seckler)-129

Part 2: Political and Activist Approaches to the Subject
6. Thinking about the Future: The Complementary Roles of Economists and Environmentalists (David Dapice)-171
7. Caring for the Future: Minimizing Chance or Maximizing Choice? (Robert L. Paarlberg)-187
8. Rewriting he Rules: Creating New Structures (Alisa Gravitz)-207

9. Energy for Development: Institutions, Incentives, and the Misallocation of Resources (Franklin Tugwell)-231

10. Leadership for Sustainable Development: Some Reflections on the Central and Eastern European Experience (Zbigniew Bochniarz)-249
11. The Office of the Future Citizen: Commentary on Robert McNamara's "Vision for Our Nation and the World in the Twenty-first Century" (Neva R. Goodwin)-267
12. A Vision for Our Nation and the World in the Twenty-first Century (Robert S. McNamara)-275

Conclusion: A Moral/Economic Regime That Could Act as if the Future Matters (Neva R. Goodwin)-293

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 336pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 1996
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10640-0

Add to Cart
  • $88.00 U.S.

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