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Responsibility Beyond GrowthA Case for Responsible Stagnation$
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Stevienna de Saille, Fabien Medvecky, Michiel Van Oudheusden, Kevin Albertson, Effie Amanatidou, Timothy Birabi, and Mario Pansera

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529208177

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529208177.001.0001

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Introducing Responsible Stagnation as the ‘Fourth Quadrant’

Introducing Responsible Stagnation as the ‘Fourth Quadrant’

(p.3) 1 Introducing Responsible Stagnation as the ‘Fourth Quadrant’
Responsibility Beyond Growth

Stevienna de Saille

Policy Press

In this chapter we introduce the central problem of innovation in a slow-growth economy, which is a tendency to prioritize economic returns over other values, and to downplay or ignore ecological limitations. Drawing from established but alternative economic theories, we suggest that the unexamined fourth quadrant of the innovation matrix, responsible stagnation (RS), provides an opportunity to also consider how innovation outside the market is pointing to more viable ways of sustaining social progress, particularly in developed economies which have passed their productivity peak. The introduction defines these concepts and concludes by introducing RS as a particular configuration of change in which ethics matters and the priorities are restraint, living gently, and the uptake and embedding of new ideas and novel ways of doing things better, regardless of their contribution to GDP.

Keywords:   heterodox economics, long-term growth, productivity, responsible innovation, secular stagnation, social progress, social values

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