Smart Development: The Political Economy in a Post-COVID-19 World


Arno Tausch – Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Innsbruck University, Austria and Visiting Professor of Economics, Corvinus University, Budapest, Hungary

Series: Political Science and History
BISAC: POL000000

In its much-debated Human Development Report 2020, the United Nations Human Development Program attempted to present indicators of development which are planetary pressures-adjusted. In the present book by Arno Tausch, the author presents further reflections in this important and evolving field, vital for any informed debate about the Paris Climate Accord. Tausch adjusts the development achievements and setbacks of the countries of the world by ecological footprint per capita. With the hitherto existing globalized political economy in ruins in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing global economic depression, a new societal contract has to emerge which combines well-being with a minimum of energy inputs, thus reducing planetary pressures.

Tausch attempts to answer vital questions, raised by the debates on the Paris climate accords, and the recent UNDP Human Development Index. Is a liberal economy, based on economic freedom, compatible with the attempt to “deliver” a maximum amount of democracy, economic growth, gender equality, human development, research and development, and social cohesion with a minimum of planetary pressure?

Tausch looks at the cross-national drivers and bottlenecks of “smart development,” using standard comparative cross-national data. The book shows that those attempting to reduce planetary pressure and to work towards fulfilling the Paris Climate Accords have to start thinking about such issues as gender justice, economic freedom, globalization, population density, and migration, if they really want to bring about development with a minimum of planetary pressure.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Theoretical Background and Earlier Studies

Chapter 2. Methods and Measurement

Chapter 3. Results on the Drivers and Bottlenecks of “Smart Development”

Chapter 4. Discussion of the Results So Far

Chapter 5. Inequality and Smart Public Health Development






“Arno Tausch is one of those intellectuals, rare in the modern age, who sees the big picture. He is also a polymath who combines insights from different disciplines in a theoretically rigorous manner, with the potential to contribute to wiser policy at the highest level and on a global scale, were the powers-that-be less short-sighted and (all too frequently) venal. His latest book, as is customary with his work, uses ambitious statistical models to draw correlations between a host of political, social, economic and cultural factors, on one hand, and ‘smart development’ which is environmentally sustainable, on the other. In a world rendered chronically unequal and economically fragile respectively by the underlying cause of naive capitalist globalization and the immediate disaster of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need thought and research of this nature more than ever.” – Calum Paton, Professor Emeritus of Health Policy, Keele University, United Kingdom. Calum Paton holds an MA (PPE) and D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University and a MPP (Master’s in Public Policy) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has taught in Dundee and Oxford Universities and has been Assistant Secretary (Director) of the Nuffield Trust, London, before coming to Keele in 1986, becoming Professor of Health Policy in 1993 until his retirement in 2015.

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