This book is not about an edible sugary snack. It is an attempt to recalibrate economic thinking through critical analysis of the old economic paradigm and the introduction of a new one. Kate Raworth was educated and worked for a time as a conventional economist but became disillusioned with the traditional unchallenged assumptions of the subject. In this she is not alone, clearly the idea of economic man as a purely rational being who has access to perfect information to make decisions on how to maximise his/her satisfaction is bonkers. It is quite remarkable how the economics profession has got away with building theories around such unreality for decades. However, unlike some other critics of traditional economics she goes further in suggesting an alternative way of addressing economic questions.
What I like about Doughnut Economics is that it gives us a new way of thinking about economics which provides real hope for the future. It focuses on really worthwhile social, political and economic goals for humanity within ecological boundaries goals, rather than the narrow goal of economic growth. The recognition that economists need to look beyond economics to other disciplines is refreshing. As an alternative model with a memorable graphic it importantly challenges the prevalent unrealistic images in the minds of traditional economists.
What might be seen as a weakness is that it does not present a clear pathway to the vision shown in the doughnut. However, this is not its’ intention, leaving the space open to others to fill. It is great to see that others, such as those listed below, are beginning to fill that space and mapping a path towards a more equitable and sustainable future.
New Economics Foundation
Institute for New Economic Thinking
The Circular Economy