Consumptionomics: Asia’s role in reshaping capitalism and saving the planet

The Asian Dilemma - Asia’s path of economic growth could rewrite our planet’s future, Chandran Nair

March 10, 2014 11:27 IST | India Infoline News Service

Title: Consumptionomics: Asia’s role in reshaping capitalism and saving the planet

Author:  Chandran Nair

Pages: 256, Hardback

Price: US$27.95 (This price is valid for India)

Published: February 2011

Published by John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte. Ltd.

Published by John Wiley & Sons (Asia) Pte Ltd, the new book, “Consumptionomics: Asia’s role in reshaping capitalism and saving the planet,” (ISBN: 978-0-470-82857-1) tackles head-on what is certain to prove the most controversial political challenge of the next two decades: the need for Asia to challenge the conventional wisdom about markets and economic growth as promoted by the West – for which consumption has been the fuel that drives the engine of global capitalism, much to the detriment of our natural environment.

The recent financial crisis has seen the West’s leading economists and policy makers urging Asia to make a conscious effort to consume more and thereby help save the global economy. This view conveniently refuses to acknowledge both the unpleasant effects of consumption and the limits to growth. If Asians were to achieve consumption levels taken for granted in the West the results would be environmentally catastrophic across the globe. Moreover, it would have significant geopolitical impacts as nations scramble for diminishing resources.

Asian governments and leaders now find themselves at a crossroads. They may either continue on the current, unsustainable path of Western-style consumption-led capitalism, disregarding the evidence, or they may realize that they hold the unenviable responsibility of leading the world to a more sustainable path. The solutions will entail making sensitive political choices and adopting certain forms of government to effect such a fundamental change of direction. This will all fly in the face of current ideological beliefs rooted in free market capitalism. But if Asia is willing to take on this responsibility, it will help to save the planet whilst reshaping capitalism.

“As latecomers to the model of development that puts a premium on wealth creation at any price, Asian countries will never be able to attain the ways of life taken for granted by most in the West,” said author Chandran Nair. “We must accept this to move beyond denial and look for alternatives – ones that by definition are better because they may have a chance of working.”

This timely and controversial book shows what it will take to rise to this challenge and what the consequences of failing to do so would be, while offering ideas about what to do. A must-read on an indispensable debate for business leaders as is for policy makers.

About the Author:

Chandran Nair is the founder of the Global Institute For Tomorrow (GIFT), an independent social venture think tank dedicated to advancing understanding of the impacts of globalization through thought leadership and positive action to affect change. He was chairman of Environmental Resources Management (ERM) in Asia Pacific until 2004, establishing the company as Asia’s leading environmental consultancy. For more than a decade he has strongly advocated a more sustainable approach to development in Asia, advising governments and multinational corporations to instill their policies and key decision-making processes with these principles. In addition to his work with GIFT, Chandran Nair continues to provide strategic management advice and coaching to business leaders.

About Wiley:

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. is a legal family that has been a valued source of information and understanding for over 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Since 1901, Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology/Medicine, Chemistry, Physics and Peace.

Our core businesses include scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and websites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada and Australia. The Company's website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

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