Journal Article

Meta-economics, scale, and contemporary social theory : re-reading E.F. Schumacher's Small is beautiful


In this paper we argue that E.F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful offers important insights for contemporary social theory. In particular, we focus on the merits of his use of 'meta-economics' and of 'scale' as means for advancing ecological social critique today. While we are sympathetic to Schumacher's approach we are mindful of the limitations to his theoretical imagination and commence our paper acknowledging his partsan metaphysics and insensitivty to global political dynamics. To resolve this, we demonstrate that the central critical insights Schumacher provides can be substantially extricated from these problems. Our task here, therefore, is a critical reconstruction of Schumacher's approach to social-ecological critique, which we claim offers the potential to shape contemporary social theory, both within, and beyond, critical political ecology.

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Ford, Lucy
Harris, Neal

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Law and Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-10-19

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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