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Shifting from a Politics of GDP Growth to a Politics of Well‑being

Posted by GHO Admin on October 16, 2014 in News

Date: October 23, 2014
Time: 12:30-2:00pm
Location: Lord Dalhousie Room, Dalhousie University

The goal of economic growth has dominated political policy making at least since the Bretton Woods conference of 1944.  But while economic growth is still badly needed in very poor countries, it has become counter-productive or "uneconomic" (using Herman Daly's phrase) in rich countries, unsustainable environmentally and generally unsuccessful in increasing levels of well-being or happiness among the citizens of those countries.  The tiny and poor Asian nation of Bhutan has proposed a policy agenda based on Gross National Happiness rather than Gross Domestic Product.  This idea is even more to be welcomed in countries such as Canada and the US and forms the basis for a new politics of well-being or quality of life that might potentially improve both happiness and sustainability.  John de Graaf discusses the broad idea and the immediate points of intervention that might propel such a new politics.