The conceptual framework of neoclassical economics has been quite stable over the years while present challenges point in the direction of a need for new thinking and a new conceptual framework. Neoclassical economics is more or less blind to equality issues and not enough to deal constructively with present unsustainable trends. I will suggest important elements of such a new conceptual framework as part of a pluralistic understanding of economics.
When compared with neoclassical economics, the political dimension is emphasized thus making democracy a fundamental principle for relationships in markets and in society at large. A political economics is suggested where individuals are understood as political economic persons and organizations as political economic organizations. This leads to a different understanding of markets from that of neoclassical supply and demand. The ethics and responsibilities of market actors in a democratic society is considered relevant and something to be investigated for purposes of sustainability politics. Approaches to decision-making are also discussed. Emphasis on democracy suggests a different approach from that of neoclassical Cost-Benefit analysis (CBA).