Doughnut Economics – A Review


Kate Raworth’s book on economics is a very readable and useful text. The odds are, if you’re reading this blog that you are the sort of person to question conventional economics. You’ve likely noticed that the constant growth model doesn’t make any sense and that GDP doesn’t measure anything useful. But now what?

The Doughnut, is the safe space for humans that meets everyone’s basic needs without compromising the planet.

In Doughnut Economics, Kate Raworth lays out the history of the subject, explaining how we got to this current set of beliefs about the role and functioning of money. There is nothing natural or inevitable about where we are and it is not underpinned by any real laws. What has happened, is that the people making policy and working with money have adopted the stories of economists and to some degree, made them true. That’s not the same as making them work. The exciting thing in all of this is that economic stories can change, which in turn would change our relationships with each other and the planet.

What’s particularly good about this book, is that it doesn’t just offer top-down solutions for fixing things. There’s a lot here we can take onboard as individuals and within small community groups. For anyone who wants to be part of changing our collective story about economics, there are tools here for your kit box.

This is an excellent book to read alongside Ecolinguists (which I reviewed here – ecolinguistcs-a-review ) because the stories we tell about money, finance, taxes, and the economy are both economics issues and ecolinguistic issues. How we are influenced by the language of these is really important. There is power in understanding that language – firstly the power to step out of the story and see yourself differently. Secondly we have the power to influence each other through the economic stories we tell and the language we use to tell them.

And if that doesn’t make your bardic heart beat a little faster, or swell with hope and possibility…

More about Doughnut Economics here –


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

10 responses to “Doughnut Economics – A Review

  • Moondancer

    Love this! Although, there is a common misconception that economics is just about GDP. It’s about resources! I am a pagan and have a B.S. in economics, environmental economics is near and dear.

    • Nimue Brown

      It seems to depend a lot on the economist, and happily there seem to be more creatively minded economists coming along all the time.

      • Cass

        Well, environmental economics is just a feild within economics. Economics can be very creative and interrsting regardless of the specific feild. There are disagreements within environmental economics as well. The core of economics is resources (not necesssrily natural resources), regardless of the specific feild. However, the entire feild of economics is pretty extensive. There is also agricultural economics and natural resource economics that are related to the environment. Most economists do not deal with things like GDP, that’s a part of a specific feild in economics. Unless you go into that feild, you probably won’t pay attention to it after junior year. Macroeconomics (which is what deals with GDP) was my least favorite partnof economics; however, it’s what gets the most attention because they often advise the government for obvious reasons, also deal with things like federal reserve. Although, all types of economists advise public policy, you just dont here about them as much.

      • Cass

        You’re welcome. Sorry for all the typos, I have the worst phone for typing!

  • Kate Vane

    You’ve reminded me that I started this and need to get back to it! Her arguments about economics aren’t new to me but I was interested in the idea that the way we visualise the economy can frame the debate.

    • Nimue Brown

      Having read work by Molly Scott Cato and John Michael Greer on the subject, I would very much agree that this isn’t new, but it is a good bringing together of key points in a way that is readable for people who aren’t formally studying the subject.

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