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Beyond externalities: another approach to sustainability

Layla Hallak,

[English] [français]

Webinar. 20/12 at 4p.m. Register now!



This online seminar will be in English the 20/12 at 4p.m on Zoom. It will be recorded.

Register on the French page of the event (form at the bottom) to participate. A link to join the webinar will be sent to you by mail. If you have any question or issue, send an email to hallak[at]


In the early 1950s, K. William Kapp showed that private enterprises transfer some of their social and environmental costs to the entire society. His argumentation was ahead of its time, unwelcomed as Europe and the United States entered an era of mass consumption. In this book, a major contribution to political economy, the author carries out a systematic analysis of the various social costs, demonstrating that they are not isolated phenomena : pollution, unemployment, work accidents, planned obsolescence, all results from the same mechanism in which enterprises discharge themselves of their own responsibilities.

K. William Kapp offers thus a theory of the costs that challenges then-conventional wisdom and sketches a fundamental critic of the traditional economic analysis. Translated into many languages, The Social Costs of Private Enterprise strikes by the prophetic lucidity of its analysis and the relevancy of its theoretical tools.

Sebastian Berger will present Kapp’s thought and its implication for ecological issues. Christophe Alliot will show how this concept is used in socio-environmental evaluations and evolves in relation to fieldwork.

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