1st Edition

A History of Ecological Economic Thought

    200 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    200 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Contributing to a better understanding of contemporary issues of environmental sustainability from a historical perspective, this book provides a cohesive and cogent account of the history of ecological economic thought. The work unearths a diverse set of ideas within a Western and Slavic context, from the Renaissance and the Enlightenment to the late 1940s, to reveal insights firmly grounded in historiographical research and of import for addressing current sustainability challenges, not least by means of improving our grasp on how humans and nature can generously coexist in the long term.

    The history of ecological economic thought offered in this volume is rich and diverse, encompassing views that are bound by the observance of the tenets of the natural sciences, but which differ significantly in terms of the role of energy and materials to cultural development and the normative aspects involving resource distribution, social ideals, and policy-making. Combining the approaches of independent scholarly figures and scientific communities from different historical periods and nationalities, the book brings elements that are still missing in the scarce literature on the history of ecological economic thought and highlights the underlying threads which unite such initiatives.

    The book brings a fresh look into the historical development of ecological economic ideas and will therefore be of great interest to scholars and students of ecological economics, environmental economics, sustainability science, interdisciplinary studies, and history of economic thought.


    1 Natural History, Botanical Gardens, and Political Economy

    2 Economic Development in German Naturphilosophie

    3 Chemistry and Agriculture Reconsidered

    4 Narodnik Ecological Utopianism

    5 Early Austro-German Social Energetics

    6 Conservation and Economic Ornithology

    7 The Other Austrian Economics

    8 Evolutionary Biology and the Science of Consumption

    9 Early Soviet Ecology

    10 Land Economics and Land Ethic



    Marco P. Vianna Franco is a postdoctoral fellow at the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research in Klosterneuburg, Austria, and holds a PhD in economics from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Cedeplar/UFMG) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He works in the fields of ecological economics and history of economic thought with a focus on human–nature relations from the perspectives of political economy, intellectual history, and philosophy of science.

    Antoine Missemer is a researcher at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and a member of the International Research Centre on the Environment and Development (CIRED) in Paris, France. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and the University of Lyon, France. His research mainly deals with the history of environmental, ecological, energy, and natural resource economics.

    "The strength of the book is to provide, for every chapter and every topic, an original and contextualized analysis that highlights attempts to build new bridges between political economy and the natural sciences." 

    Nathalie Berta, History of Political Economy