‘The good economy’: a conceptual and empirical move for investigating how economies and versions of the good are entangled
This paper suggests the concept of ‘the good economy’ as an analytical tool for investigating how economic practice is entangled in versions of the good.
Across Europe and the OECD, the bioeconomy is promoted as that which will succeed the carbon economy: an economy based in ‘the bio’ that will be innovative, sustainable, responsible and environmentally friendly. Yet how to critically approach an economy justified not only by its accumulative potentials but also its ability to do and be good? This paper suggests the concept of ‘the good economy’ as an analytical tool for investigating how economic practice is entangled in versions of the good. Building upon the classic contributions of Weber, Thompson and Foucault in combination with valuation studies, this paper shows how the good economy concept can be employed to examine how the economic and the good are intertwined. Empirically, the paper teases out how what is made to be good in the bioeconomy is radically different than in economies of the recent past. While ‘the good economy’ of the early oil and aquaculture economy concerned how to insert this economy into society in a good manner, society is surprisingly absent in the contemporary bioeconomy. The bioeconomy is enacted as an expert issue, pursued by the tools of economic valuation, and based in the unquestioned idea that ‘the bio’ makes any economy good.
The article is authored by Asdal, Cointe, Hobæk, Reinertsen, Huse, Morsman and Måløy. Read the full perspective here.