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The New Jersey Institute of Technology's
Electronic Theses & Dissertations Project

Title: New economy : assessment of the institutionalization of an emerging paradigm and academic field through inquiry into prominent boundary organizations
Author: Rodgers, Jeanine Cava
View Online: njit-etd2013-006
(ix, 103 pages ~ 0.9 MB pdf)
Department: Department of Chemistry and Environmental Science
Degree: Master of Science
Program: Environmental Policy Studies
Document Type: Thesis
Advisory Committee: Cohen, Maurie J. (Committee chair)
Rothenberg, David (Committee member)
Brownstein, Michael S. (Committee member)
Date: 2013-01
Keywords: New economy
Availability: Unrestricted

It is increasingly acknowledged that in order to reach global and regional sustai nabi l ity goals, economic growth and consumption levels in wealthy developed nations will need to stabilize or reverse. Organizations and projects of a wide variety have emerged and expanded to take on this challenge, and shape the so-called, "new economy". The purpose of this research is to gain a clearer picture of the impacts of efforts to develop a shared new-economy knowledge framework on the broader sustai nabi l ity conversation, and to assess the intellectual institutionalization of same. This thesis focuses in on the influence of four U.S.-based organizations with missions centered on developing and promoting a new economy as a solution to intertwined systems-level crises. Data was collected through interviews of nine individuals affiliated with "new economy organizations" via telephone using a semi-standard questionnaire. Analysis showed a paradigm, rooted in decades-old economic ideas, emerging but underdeveloped. To date, it has not had any noticeable influence on mainstream sustai nabi l ity discourse or dominant economic thinking, and remains politically irrelevant. Recent events present the thrust for a scaling-up of efforts to fully-develop the theoretical framework, a viable model, and proceed with steps to further institutionalize the field. Strategic action, including a concerted branding and messaging effort, and improved coordination with outside groups is recommended so that the paradigm can progress with institutionalization, and garner increased funding and popular relevancy.

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