Crises - Accounting as means to mitigate



Publication Details

Seufert, J., De Zoysa, A. & Andrew, B. (2015). Crises - Accounting as means to mitigate. 27th CSEAR International Congress on Social and Environmental Accounting Research (pp. 12-13).


The build-up of Greenhouse Gases in the atmosphere and consequential Global warming possesses a real threat to human society. Science alerted us to this problem and at the same time provides technologies capable of emission reductions, yet it is behavioural change that is urgently needed. This paper draws on Juergen Habermas legitimation crisis and Ulrich Beck ecological crisis to position of both Qantas' and the Australia Government's accounting discourse which is actively used to create and emphasise crises. There is a deep involvement of the Australia Government in Qantas' production process. Accounting and neoliberal-informed rhetoric assists the Government to provide rationality for its actions to fill market gaps and produce financial and other supports to curb the economic crisis within Qantas. Accounting concepts provide means to keep latent the prioritisation of individual capitalist interests', such as Qantas', even in the wake of global warming. Finally, accounting rhetoric has contributed to the diminishing support of the Australian electorate and a motivational crisis to withdraw support for climate actions. This study enhances Habermas' legitimation crisis with contemporary literature updates and combining it with the work of Beck's ecological crisis. These crisis theories are applied to an Australian context of a significant economic player within Australia, Qantas, enhances our understanding of the political economy and the very role of accounting to create, curb or hide circumstances which could lead to crises. It provides a new lens to consider SEAR in the wake of global warming.

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