Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation for a Sustainable Economy

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Springer Science & Business Media, 2007 M12 22 - 210 pages
The real world is characterized by deep complexity. May be a rather unremarkable observation, yet it has important implications on the manner policy problems are represented and decision-making is framed. Is contemporary democracy compatible with science in real-world policy-making? This book gives answers in the affirmative. It also asserts that this congruence can have positive implications not only in terms of economic prosperity but also when dealing with the difficult sustainability policy problems of our millennium. To address contemporary issues economic science will have to expand its empirical relevance by introducing more and more realistic assumptions to its models. One of the most interesting research orientations in recent times in the field of public economics is the explicit attempt to take account of political constraints, interest groups and collusion effects. One of the main novelties of this book is its establishment of a clear relationship between social and public choice theories on one hand, and multiple criteria decision analysis on the other. The pioneering research developed by Arrow and Raynaud (1986) has shown that the relationships between multi-criteria decision theory and social choice are clear and relevant. The main directions of cross-fertilization between these research fields are twofold: 1. Multi-criteria decision theory can be an adequate framework for applied social (and public) choice. 2. Social choice can produce interesting theoretical results for ensuring the ax- matic consistency needed by multi-criterion aggregation conventions.

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Part A Methodological Foundations and Operational Consequences
Multiple Dimensions
Operationalizing Technical and Social
Part B Consistency in Social MultiCriteria Evaluation
Basic Discrete
Lessons Learned
Mathematical Procedures to Search for Technical and Social
Bibliography and References

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Page 2 - Heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
Page 65 - Stated informally, the essence of this principle is that as the complexity of a system increases, our ability to make precise and yet significant statements about its behavior diminishes until a threshold is reached beyond which precision and significance (or relevance) become almost mutually exclusive characteristics.
Page 86 - Truly important and significant hypotheses will be found to have "assumptions" that are wildly inaccurate descriptive representations of reality, and, in general, the more significant the theory, the more unrealistic the assumptions (in this sense). The reason is simple. A hypothesis is important if it "explains...
Page 86 - It is that human beings have neither the facts nor the consistent structure of values nor the reasoning power at their disposal that would be required, even in these relatively simple situations, to apply SEU principles.
Page 55 - In many cases it is only secondary. It should often give precedence to safety, to strength, to the durability of the engine, to the small space which it must occupy, to small cost of installation, etc. To know how to appreciate in each case, at their true value, the considerations of convenience and economy which may present themselves ; to know how to discern the more important of those which are only accessories ; to balance them properly against each other, in order to attain the best results...
Page 14 - To maximize simultaneously the biological system goals (genetic diversity, resilience, biological productivity), economic system goals (satisfaction of basic needs, enhancement of equity, increasing useful goods and services), and social system goals (cultural diversity, institutional sustainability, social justice, participation).
Page 55 - ... to utilize in practice all the motive power of combustibles. The attempts made to attain this result would be far more hurtful than useful if they caused other important considerations to be neglected. The economy of the combustible is only one of the conditions to be fulfilled in heat engines. In many cases it is only secondary. It should often give precedence to safety, to strength, to the durability of the engine, to the small space which it must occupy, to small cost of installation, and...
Page 13 - The final solution is more like a "creation" than a discovery. In Multiple-Criteria Decision Aid (MCDA) (Roy, 1985), the principal aim is not to discover a solution, but to construct or create something which is viewed as liable to help "an actor taking part in a decision process either to shape, and/or to argue, and/or to transform his preferences, or to make a decision in conformity with his goals" (Roy, 1990) (constructive or creative approach).

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