Returning to Reciprocity: Reconceptualizing Economics and Development Through an Indigenous Economics for Twenty-First Century


  • Stephen Sachs
  • Christina Clamp


Many of the world's current major problems are directly related to the narrow, reductionist approach of much of mainstream economics (particularly neoclassical economics), with the focus on economics as profit and loss mostly of the individual firm or economic actor, with inadequate concern for public goods or externalities (though some economists, including many macro-institutional, environmental and certain socialist economists, do much better). This is particularly the case concerning the environmental crisis (as developed in “Climate Change, Environmental Decay, and Indigenous People: An Indigenous Approach to Reclaiming the Circle of the World,” given at the 2008 Southwest Popular/American Culture Meeting). But it is also the case with much of the suffering and violence troubling the world. Failure to develop and maintain adequate, balanced economies providing high levels of employment and fulfilling human needs in a sufficient and relatively equalitarian manner has produced and worsened many damaging developments, though there are also other causes.


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