Nachhaltige Entwicklung von unten? Die Gemeinwohl-Ökonomie zwischen utopischen Visionen, zivilgesellschaftlichen Initiativen und basisdemokratischen Entscheidungen


Bottom-up approach to sustainable development? The Economy for the Common Good between utopian visions, civic initiatives and grass-roots democratic decisions

In today's society, despite increasing technological development and economic prosperity, rising social and global inequality and environmental degradation is progressing and social trust and social cohesion are being eroded. The Economy for the Common Good (ECG) is a civic action movement that is trying to initiate the process of socio-ecological transformation of the economic system on a grass-roots level through the involvement of volunteers in regional groups. The manifesto of the movement is the alternative economic model developed by Christian Felber (2010), which seeks to increase the common good instead of increasing individual capital. The goal of the ECG is the establishment of a new "contrat social" (Rousseau).
The study focuses on the social practices of negotiation and communication of the ECG concept by the various stakeholders. The research perspective of the project is based on empirical ethnographic science studies, with the ECG concept being considered as culturally oriented knowledge. The ECG is examined on three different levels: on the discursive level the value concepts used are explored within their historical frame of reference, their parallels with anthropological and ethical economic concepts and with current considerations on reciprocity and gift exchange are considered and their similarities with current alternative economic concepts are investigated. Furthermore criticism of the ECG concept itself is analysed. At the level of collective mobilization the ECG is taken to be a social movement which is examined on the one hand in the context of legitimizing alternative economic knowledge and in its interaction with external political, economic and civic stakeholders. On the other hand internal negotiations in the grass-roots democratic decision-making processes are considered. At the everyday level the knowledge practices of different stakeholders in different contexts and situations are explored. In particular in the negotiation and translation processes the local embedment and communication of knowledge are investigated, along with the accompanying creation of validity and coherence. The special focus is on the transformative effects on everyday life and on economic and scientific models. With the empirical results of the research project the theoretical concepts of economic action can be critically considered and new economic forms and ways of life can be conceived.

Principal Investigators
Kühn, Cornelia (Details) (European Ethnology I)

Duration of Project
Start date: 05/2019
End date: 04/2022

Research Areas
Social and Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology

Research Areas
Nachhaltigkeit

Last updated on 2021-04-01 at 17:49