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Beyond Profit and Self-Interest

Economics with a Broader Scope Robert Scott Gassler, formerly Professor of Economics, Vesalius College, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
This book attempts to reformulate existing orthodox economic theory in order to improve its conversation with disciplines that have traditionally been seen as the domain of political scientists, sociologists, psychologists and even biologists, and to fit economics into the broader scheme of social science theory.
Extent: 352 pp
Hardback Price: $160.00 Web: $144.00
Publication Date: 2004
ISBN: 978 1 84376 492 2
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Evolutionary Economics
  • Political Economy
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Political Economy
This book attempts to reformulate existing orthodox economic theory in order to improve its conversation with disciplines that have traditionally been seen as the domain of political scientists, sociologists, psychologists and even biologists, and to fit economics into the broader scheme of social science theory.

Drawing on general systems theory, Robert Scott Gassler applies economic analysis to a wide range of social phenomena that incorporate motives other than profit or self-interest, such as altruism and non-profit organisations. He debates in depth the means, problems and advantages of adapting economic theory to new sets of assumptions, and of communicating this theory intelligibly to those in related fields.

This book should not only be read by political and social economists, but is also accessible to those in the fields of education, health and non-profit administration, public affairs, and urban planning to name but a few.
‘Here is the book Léon Walras should have written, or would have written if he had also been Kenneth Boulding’s student. It is ingenious in content and wholesome in attitude. It combines neoclassical economics, departures arguably within neoclassicism, and varieties of heterodox economics, within the ambit of systems theory. It is only one of many possible combinations but it is rich and open-ended. Its attitude is especially striking. Gassler departs from the trap of unbending defense of the neoclassical hard core versus its equally unbending critique. He departs, too, from seeing orthodoxy and heterodoxy as either alternatives or supplements; he constructs a model that permits all to survive as tools in the art of economics. It enables economists to escape from many of their current impasses. The book needs to be widely read.’
– Warren Samuels, Michigan State University, US
Contents: Preface Part I: Theory 1. Scope 2. Method 3. Foundations 4. Taxonomy 5. Theory Part II: Applications 6. Individuals 7. Interactions 8. Organizations 9. Non-profits 10. Processes 11. Sectors 12. Societies 13. Planets Part III: Summary and Conclusion 14. Summary and Conclusion Bibliography Index