Teaching Nonviolent Economics as a Path for Achieving Quality of Life

  • Jorge GuardiolaEmail author
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 79)


This chapter presents an experience of addressing quality of life in an Economic Policy course. It should be taken into account that many economic axioms concerning selfishness, individualism, or the maximization of utility via increases in income hinder the achievement of happy lives and the design of happy societies. In this regard, this chapter firstly addresses the challenges involved in introducing quality of life into economics. It then moves on to the strategy implemented in order to introduce quality of life into the courses, a strategy based on a nonviolent conception of life and economics, following the lead of Gandhi and other pacifists. The nonviolent approach is the perspective through which quality of life is viewed, and is present throughout the whole economics course, with a particular emphasis on the violent component of the economic structure and how to satisfy human needs without using violence against others. Thirdly, several examples are introduced that illustrate to the students the violent component of economic organization and economic thought, and how quality of life can be achieved without harming others. At the personal level, the intrinsic vs. extrinsic approach to leading a happy life is presented, as well as an examination of how intrinsic values are preferable to extrinsic ones when it comes to happiness and nonviolence. As for companies, the focus is on the need for production to consider people and the environment as an end rather than a means, among other things. At the country level, there is a discussion about the quality-of-life indicators that provide a better alternative to GDP as a proxy for quality of life. This body of knowledge gives shape to the so-called Nonviolent Economics.


Economics Quality of life Happiness Nonviolence Sustainability 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de la Paz y los Conflictos, Departamento de Economía AplicadaUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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