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Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 2991-3005; doi:10.3390/su5072991
Article

Backcasting for Sustainable Employment: A Hungarian Experience

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Received: 10 May 2013; in revised form: 1 July 2013 / Accepted: 3 July 2013 / Published: 10 July 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Government Policy and Sustainability)
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Abstract: Sustainability and employment are terms seldom used together. Especially when defining sustainability in the stricter sense of the word, delineating a world where strong sustainability is the norm, it is problematic to deduct which elements may compose sustainable employment. In the relevant discourse, two distinct directions can be identified. Ecological modernization promises “quick fixes” to employment problems while reducing environmentally harmful economic activities without initiating major changes either in our ways of thinking or in our way of living. At the same time, the radical change paradigm disposes of the concepts of the free market society and believes that new “great transformations” are unavoidable, whereby values must change just as much as institutions. Yet, how far have these normative theoretical approaches penetrated our everyday thinking? The paper builds upon the experience of a backcasting project on sustainable employment conducted in Hungary in 2012 and early 2013 and suggests that when people are given the chance to leave the path dependencies of today behind and imagine a sustainable future, their normative visions provide us with invaluable insight as to what may constitute sustainable employment. It also contributes towards our understanding of which policy tools lead us towards a more sustainable world of work in particular and a more sustainable society in general.
Keywords: backcasting; ecological modernization; Hungary; sustainable employment; transition management; radical change paradigm backcasting; ecological modernization; Hungary; sustainable employment; transition management; radical change paradigm
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Köves, A.; Király, G.; Pataki, G.; Balázs, B. Backcasting for Sustainable Employment: A Hungarian Experience. Sustainability 2013, 5, 2991-3005.

AMA Style

Köves A, Király G, Pataki G, Balázs B. Backcasting for Sustainable Employment: A Hungarian Experience. Sustainability. 2013; 5(7):2991-3005.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Köves, Alexandra; Király, Gábor; Pataki, György; Balázs, Bálint. 2013. "Backcasting for Sustainable Employment: A Hungarian Experience." Sustainability 5, no. 7: 2991-3005.


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