Edited by Martin Schlag and Juan A. Mercado
We live in times of economic change and challenges, as reports of the increasing concentration of wealth with "the 1%" and stagnating wages compete for headlines with new and contentious politics of austerity. Public discourse has become fractured not only along class lines but ideologically, with advocates of "economic freedom" and "sustainability" locked in seemingly intractable conflict. Managers, business people, and teachers of economics are increasingly aware that they simply cannot go back to the "business as usual" of the pre-Great Recession economy, but that does not explain what should be done.
In this situation, Catholic Social Teaching makes a contribution to maintaining the social balance in a changing society. Far from only proposing a narrow set of divisive limitations, Catholic teaching has articulated a framework of religiously-inspired ideals (particularly solidarity) that can assist our changing culture in addressing some of its most important questions—but only if they are applied creatively by scholars who understand the complexity of the current system. To reaffirm capitalism and the free market without dodging questions of social responsibility, we need a serious and academic reflection on the creation of sustainable and shared value, and on the contribution of business to the living fabric of society of which it constitutes a part.
The contributors to Free Markets with Sustainability and Solidarity, who represent a unique combination of European and American scholars, present their reflections on evolving forms of economics. All are unified by a holistic, Christian anthropology, from which they draw epistemological consequences for free markets and a free society.
Table of Contents
- Introduction. Freedom, Solidarity and Sustainaility: Philosophical and Theological Roots (Martin Schlag and Juan Andrés Mercado)
Part I - Constructing Theoretical Foundations
- Love, Sustainability, and Solidarity: Philosophical and Theological Roots (Russell Hittinger)
- Leaving behind the Model of Positivism and Utilitarianism for Economic Activity: Toward a Humanistic Approach (Domènec Melé)
- The Morality of the Market from a Theory of Personal Action (Javier Aranzadi)
- Economic Theory Meets Human Nature: How Anthropological Views of the Human Person Shaped Economic Theory in Western History (John Larrivee)
- Free Markets with Caritas: A Transformational Concept of Efficiency (Bruce Baker)
- Freedom as the Call of Being: Restoring the Foundations of Ethical Enterprice (Jim Wishloff)
Part II - Assessing the Encyclical Tradition
- Justice, Charity, and the Political Order: Assessing the Encyclical Tradition (Richard J. Dougherty)
- Freedom and Solidarity: A Catholic Model of Economic Organization (Wolfgang Grassl)
- Catholic Social Teaching on the Economy: Pope Benedict XVI's Legacy (Martin Schlag)
Part III - Offering Practical Models and Education
- Economic Efficiency and Solidarity: The Idea of a Social Market Economy (Jörg Althammer)
- Are Work-Family Practices Socially Responsible? Differing Perceptions in Portuguese Enterprises (Fátima Carioca)
- Global Capitalism and Values-Based Business: The Case of Cooperatives and Benefit Corporations (Patrice Flynn)
- Epistemology in Business Education: Challenging the Ideologies (Kevin Jackson)