Inderscience Publishers

Sustainable development and the worldwide market economy: a necessary but difficult reconciliation

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The only satisfactory concept of development is a global one, of which the usual notion of sustainable development is only a part. The only economic system providing efficiency is the market, with a high level of responsibility given to decentralised and autonomous decision-makers. However, the market economy does not automatically generate globally desirable development. It has to be complemented by public intervention, leading in a single country to a mixed economy, and in a world-set of countries to international agreements, creating two kinds of international order, at two levels: very restrictive between countries with common basic political and social values, and provisionally more flexible and concerning only few very fundamental topics at a world-wide level.

Keywords: market economy, natural resources, subsidiarity, sustainable development, sustainability

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