The illusion of economic objectivity

linking local risks of credibility loss to global risks of climate change

Document identifier:
Access full text here:10.1080/13669870801939498
Keyword: Natural Sciences, Earth and Related Environmental Sciences, Naturvetenskap, Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap, Social anthropology, Economy, Två steg fram, ett steg tillbaka - Strukturella hinder för boende att minska koldioxidutsläpp och energianvändning för uppvärmning
Publication year: 2008
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 10 Reduced inequalitiesSDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructureSDG 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by


This article analyses economic thinking as a conceptual construct and discusses the link it provides between local risks of losing credibility and global risks of resource depletion and climate change. Due to the high-ranking value given to economic thinking in many Swedish contexts, economic arguments are perfect ways to win an argument or negotiation, to prevent risks of loosing credibility, or to discredit others. As illlustrated in this article, legitimacy-creating acts of communication tend to precede or follow upon a decision to install a solar heating system. An immediate and massive use of solar energy for heating purposes would mitigate the risks of global warming and depletion of energy resources. Unfortunately however, the conspicuous use of economic arguments accompanying solar heating installations tend to be interpreted by policy-makers as a preference for economic motives rather than a sign of questioned consumption. The illusion that economy is an objective entity rising above all other social issues seems to be confirmed, and political measures based on economic thinking can continue to block adequate steps towards the mitigation of climate changing emissions. The cultural representation of economic sovereignty is continuously reproduced through communication. It is a circle, a vicious circle if you like.


Annette Henning

Högskolan Dalarna; Energi och miljöteknik
Other publications >>

Record metadata

Click to view metadata