Professor Molly Scott Cato

Professor Molly Scott Cato

Professor of Green Economics

Roehampton University Business School


Molly Scott Cato is Professor of Green Economics in the Business School. She is a green economist who is also well-known in the field of co-operative studies.

Molly’s first area of work is into the green economy, addressing the question of how we might design and organise an economy that fits comfortably within planetary limits and achieves social justice. To this end she undertakes a critique of the monocultural global economy and proposes instead a system of self-reliant local economies, within the over-arching framework of a bioregional approach to provisioning.

Her second main area of work addresses the theory of the economics of co-operatives and social enterprises and in particular the concept of social entrepreneurship.

Her third area of work involves critiquing the existing monetary system and suggesting sustainable and stable alternatives. The link between the growth imperative that drives the environmental crisis and the debt-based nature of the existing money system is a central tenet of green economics.

Molly has published widely and in a range of different outlets; she also her own personal website, Green Economist, and a popular blog Gaian Economics.

Molly’s current PhD students are:

James Beecher: The resilience of UK building societies during the 2008 financial crisis

Kathryn Addicott: Female entrepreneurship in the voluntary sector

Barbara Kennedy: Virtue ethics and the motivations of organic food producers

Barry Pemberton: Governance in the UK civil nuclear power industry.

Rodrigo Silva da Sousa: The Construction of Risk: How 'actors' construct the concept of 'risk' in practice

Beth Stratford: Steady State Economics and the housing market: is there a conflict between rising house prices and sustainability?

Viktorija Mano: The vulnerability of a small open economy in a situation of global fiscal crisis: The impact of the Greek debt crisis on the FDI in Macedonia

Paola Rafaelli: Defining the Solidarity Economy in the UK and Argentina

Christopher Bond: Leading and Learning: working with the complexities of transformational change, by published works


MA (Oxon.) in politics, philosophy and economics
MSc (Open) in social research methods
PhD (Wales) in economics

Research interests

Membership of professional bodies

Consultancy experience



You can download versions of these papers from Molly's pages at the Social Science Research Network

Forthcoming 'Margin or Mainstream: Stakeholder Views of the Credit-Union Movement in Wales and their Impact on the Financial Inclusion Policy', Public Money and Management, with Jan Myers and Paul Jones.

'At the Sharp End of the Credit Crisis: A profile of Valleys Credit Union, Local Economy (August, 2013), with Jan Myers and Steven Howlett.

'Green Economics: Putting the Planet and Politics Back into Economics', Cambridge Journal of Economics (2012), 36(5): 1019-1032.

'An Alternative Mainstream? Policy impact on the development of Welsh credit unions' with Cato, M.S. and Jones, P.A. Public Money and Management, 32/6: 409-16, Jan Myers, Molly Scott Cato, and Paul Jones.

'Home Economics: Planting the Seeds of a Research Agenda for the Bioregional Economy', Environmental Values 20 (2011): 481-501.

'Criticality by stealth: embedding tools for sustainability in the business curriculum', Journal of Global Responsibility, 2/2 (2011), pp. 222 – 238, with Peter Redding.

'A Narrative of Power: Tower Colliery as an Example of Worker Control through Co-operative Work Organisation' Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, XIV/3 (2011), with Smith, R., Arthur, L., and Keenoy, T.

'Education as Re-embedding: Stroud Communiversity, Walking the Land and the Enduring Spell of the Sensuous', Sustainability, 3/1: 51-68 (2010), with Jan Myers.

'How Could we Study Climate-Related Social Innovation? Applying Deleuzian Philosophy to the Transition Towns', Environmental Politics, 19/6 (2010): 869-87, with Jean Hillier.

'A Co-operative Path to Food Security in the UK', Journal of Co-operative Studies, 43/2 (2010): 4-15, with Richard Bickle.

'Did the Earth Move? Re-energising the Debate about Public and Private', Development, 53/3 (2010): 333-7.

'A New Financial Architecture Based on a Global Carbon Standard', Ecopolitics, 3: 61-78 (2008); reprinted in Barry, J. and Leonard, L. (eds.), Advances in Ecopolitics, iii. The Transition to Sustainable Living and Practice (Bingley: Emerald).

'Weighing the Transition Towns in the Carbon Balance', review article of The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins, Soundings, 40 (2008): 92-7; chosen for reproduction by Encyclopedia Britannica.

'Entrepreneurial Energy: Associative Entrepreneurship in the Renewable Energy Sector in Wales', International Journal of Entrepreneurship Behaviour and Research, 14/5 (2008): 313-29, with Len Arthur, Tom Keenoy and Russell Smith.



The Bioregional Economy: Land, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (London: Earthcan, 2012).

Environment and Economy, London: Routledge (2011)

Green Economics: Theory, Policy and Practice, London: Earthscan, 2009 (foreign language rights sold to publishers in Beijing, Taiwan, Cairo and Athens).

Book chapters

'Turning the world upside down: The English Revolution as inspiration for the transition to a sustainable society', in Inglesby, J. and Kingston-Smith, C. (eds.) Carnival Kingdom: Biblical Justice for Global Communities (Gloucester: Wide Margin, 2013)

‘The Resilience of Co-operative Food Networks: A Case-Study of Stroud’ in D. McDonnell, E. Macknight and H. Donnelly (eds.), The Co-operative Model in Practice (Edinburgh: Co-operative Enterprise Scotland, 2012), James Beecher, Molly Scott Cato and Nick Weir.

'Stroud Pound: A Local Currency to Map, Measure and Strengthen the Local Economy, under review with International Journal of Community Currency Research (2012), 16(D) 106-115, with Marta Suarez

'The Green Economy: Why Ownership and Control Matter, Journal of Co-operative Studies (2012), 45/1: 61-8

'Your caring, sharing co-op: women's work, ownership and sustainable livelihoods', in Gender and Sustainable Livelihoods, ed. Wendy Harcourt (Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

Forthcoming: 'Localism and bioregionalism: empowerment, security, sustainability', in Parker, M, Cheney, G, Fournier, V, and Land, C (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Alternative Organisation, London: Routledge.

From 'personal' to 'mutual': exploring the opportunities for co-operative and mutual forms of ownership and governance in design and delivery of social and public services, in Hull, R., Gibbon, J., Bransei, O., and Haugh, H. (eds.) Dialogues in Critical Management Studies: Volume 1, Third Sector, with Jan Myers (2011).

'A suitable climate for political action? A sympathetic review of the politics of Transition', in Pelling, M, Manuel-Navarrete, D and Redclift, M. (eds.), Climate change and the crisis of capitalism: A chance to reclaim self, society and nature, London: Routledge, with Peter North (2012)

'Where is the "social" in social enterprise?', in Fuller, D, Jonas, AEF and Lee, R (eds.) Alternative Spaces of Economy, Society and Politics: Interrogating Alterity, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2010; with Len Arthur, Russell Smith and Tom Keenoy.


Published research reports

You can find some of these reports to download on the site of the Green House thinktank

Local Liquidity: From Ineffective Demand to Community Currencies, in preparation for Green House Thinktank.

Free Universities! Re-configuring the Finance and Governance Models of the UK Higher Education Sector, published by Green House thinktank, January 2012.

Mutual Security in a Sustainable Economy: A Green Approach to Welfare, published by Green House thinktank, July 2011.

2009 Realising the Potential: A Review of the Credit Union Movement in Wales, with Bickle R, Bird A, and Jones P.A., commissioned by the Wales Assembly Government, available at:

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