'Many authors have highlighted the flaws of using Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of overall societal progress. This inspiring new book by Lorenzo Fioramonti goes beyond this by providing a much needed history of the development of GDP and an analysis of how it has been (mis)used to define progress, and the policy priorities adopted by governments around the world. This analysis is important - there is a strong sense emerging that GDP has been leading us astray, but little has been done to demonstrate how this has happened.
Gross Domestic Problem does not, however, stop at the problem. What is invigorating about this book is that it provides a thorough and up-to-date picture of the various initiatives that have emerged to demote the role of GDP - from high profile initiatives lead by international organisations such as the OECD, to alternative local currencies in the streets of south London and the mountains of south Germany.
Gross Domestic Problem is not naive - it recognises the challenges faced by those intent on dethroning GDP, and the inherent interests of those resisting that challenge. An excellent read for academics and activists alike.' --The New Economics Foundation
'Never before has one single measure shaped our world so profoundly. Incisively illuminating the politics behind its numbers, Fioramonti has reinforced the urgent need to reset our coded image of ourselves' --Dr Simon Zadek, Senior Fellow, Global Green Growth Institute, author of `The Civil Corporation`
'This book is long overdue. Finally, the political interests behind the GDP mantra have been unveiled, forcing us to rethink mainstream economic views and build a more just and sustainable world. It is indeed the most important struggle of our generation.' --Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director
About the Author
Lorenzo Fioramonti is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pretoria (South Africa), where he coordinates the Global and Regional Governance programmes at the university's Institute for Strategic and Political Affairs. He is also Senior Fellow at the Centre for Social Investment of the University of Heidelberg and at the Hertie School of Governance (Germany) as well as Associate Fellow at the United Nations University. He is the author of numerous books and articles about development policies, alternative economies and social progress indicators and the director of a short documentary on GDP and climate change, which can be viewed at his blog: www.globalreboot.org.