The University of Arizona

Green Economy or Living Well? Assessing divergent paradigms for equitable eco-social transition in South Korea and Bolivia

Karen Bell


'Green Economy' and 'Living Well ('Vivir Bien)' have emerged as contending macro-policies in the search for a future direction that meets human needs whilst respecting environmental limits. There are a number of different interpretations of each concept but the dominant discourses in relation to each are distinct. Green Economy is presented as a fundamentally technological, managerial and market-based approach, whilst Living Well is considered to imply redistribution of wealth, inter-personal and inter-species reciprocity and eco-socialist development in harmony with nature. Contributing to the debate on the most effective strategic direction to take to achieve equitable and effective eco-social transition, this article examines the processes, politics and early impacts of attempts to implement these macro-policies in South Korea, a global Green Economy leader, and Bolivia, at the forefront of promoting the Living Well approach.

Key words: Environment, development, Vivir Bien, macro-policy, climate change, Global South

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