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Capitalism and crises: A comparative analysis of mainstream and heterodox perceptions and related ethical considerations

Kuehnlenz, S ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1803-9248, Andreoni, V and Meyenburg, I (2022) Capitalism and crises: A comparative analysis of mainstream and heterodox perceptions and related ethical considerations. Business Ethics, the Environment and Responsibility. ISSN 2694-6416

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Abstract

This paper analyses the main perceptions of capitalism and crises from a mainstream and heterodox perspective. Broadly defined within the neoclassical structure, the mainstream approaches support the idea of long-term stability of capitalism and describe crises as exogenous events. The heterodox perceptions, on the contrary, perceive crises as an internal feature of capitalism and propose to reframe the global economy within the limits of the socio-environmental systems. Despite the historical recurrence of crises, the neoclassic capitalist framework and the related mainstream perceptions are still dominating the international economic debate. Most of the crises have then been addressed with reforms oriented to adjust some elements of the system without changing the overall economic structure. On the contrary, limited numbers of initiatives have been implemented to reorganise the economy according to the heterodox perspectives. Within this context, further analysis would be needed to investigate the feasibility of the proposed heterodox solutions. By discussing the main perceptions of capitalism and crises and by considering the ethical implications of the mainstream and the heterodox approaches, the present paper contributes to the existing debate around stability of capitalism and provides a starting point for analysis oriented to investigate the feasibility of alternative economic structures.

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