Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics : Nature and Society book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics
Nature and Society

Edited By

Clive L. Spash

ISBN 9781138931510
Published April 10, 2017 by Routledge
570 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Since becoming formally established with an international academic society in the late 1980s, ecological economics has advanced understanding of the interactions between social and biophysical reality. It initially combined questioning of the basis of mainstream economics with a concern for environmental degradation and limits to growth, but has now advanced well beyond critique into theoretical, analytical and policy alternatives. Social ecological economics and transformation to an alternative future now form core ideas in an interdisciplinary approach combining insights from a range of disciplines including heterodox economics, political ecology, sociology, political science, social psychology, applied philosophy, environmental ethics and a range of natural sciences.

This handbook, edited by a leading figure in the field, demonstrates the dynamism of ecological economics in a wide-ranging collection of state-of-the-art essays. Containing contributions from an array of international researchers who are pushing the boundaries of the field, the Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics showcases the diversity of the field and points the way forward. A critical analytical perspective is combined with realism about how economic systems operate and their essential connection to the natural world and society. This provides a rich understanding of how biophysical reality relates to and integrates with social reality. Chapters provide succinct overviews of the literature covering a range of subject areas including: heterodox thought on the environment; society, power and politics, markets and consumption; value and ethics; science and society; methods for evaluation and policy analysis; policy challenges; and the future post-growth society. The rich contents dispel the myth of there being no alternatives to current economic thought and the political economy it supports.

The Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics provides a guide to the literature on ecological economics in an informative and easily accessible form. It is essential reading for those interested in exploring and understanding the interactions between the social, ecological and economic and is an important resource for those interested in fields such as: human ecology, political ecology, environmental politics, human geography, environmental management, environmental evaluation, future and transition studies, environmental policy, development studies and heterodox economics.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of tables


Part I Foundations

1. Social ecological economics

Clive L. Spash

2. A critical and realist approach to ecological economics

Armin Puller and Tone Smith

Part II Heterodox thought on the environment

3. Critical institutional economics

Arild Vatn

4. Political ecology and unequal exchange

Alf Hornborg

5. Ecofeminism

Ariel Salleh

6. Ecological Marxism and ecological economics: from misunderstanding to eeaningful dialogue

Ali Douai

7. Post Keynesian economics and sustainable development

Eric Berr

8. Evolutionary economics

Karolina Safarzynska

Part III Biophysical reality and its implications

9. Thermodynamics: relevance, implications, misuse and ways forward

Kozo Torasan Mayumi

10. Geophysical limits, raw material use and their policy implications

Armin Dieter

11. Social metabolism

Fridolin Krausmann

12. The biophysical realities of ecosystems

Vincent Devictor

13. Coevolutionary social ecological economics

Richard B. Norgaard

Part IV Society, power and politics

14. Theories of power

Lorenz Stör

15. The Imperial Mode of Living

Ulrich Brand and Markus Wissen

16. A guide to environmental justice movements and the language of ecological distribution conflicts

Joan Martinez-Alier

17. Social movements and resistance

Viviana Asara

Part V Markets, production and consumption

18. Unregulated markets and the transformation of society

Asad Zaman

19. Theory of the firm

Peter E. Earl

20. Theories of (un)sustainable consumption

Clive L. Spash and Karin Dobernig

21. Work and leisure: money, identity and playfulness

Wolfgang J. Fellner

Part VI Value and ethics

22. Pluralism and incommensurability

John O’Neill

23. Intrinsic values and economic valuation

Katie McShane

24. Needs as a central element of sustainable development

Felix Rauschmayer and Ines Omann

25. Future generations

Richard B. Howarth

Part VII Science and society: uncertainty and precaution

26. Precautionary appraisal as a response to risk, uncertainty, ambiguity and ignorance

Andy Stirling

27. Addressing strong uncertainty: safe minimum standards

Irmi Seidl

28. Post-normal science

Roger Strand

Part VIII Methods

29. The NUSAP approach to uncertainty appraisal and communication

Jeroen P. van der Sluijs

30. Multi-criteria evaluation in environmental policy analysis

Salvatore Greco and Giuseppe Munda

31. Multicriteria mapping

Rebecca White

32. Q methodology

Ben Davies

33. Participation in the context of ecological economics

Kirsty L. Blackstock

34. Deliberative monetary valuation

Jasper Kenter

35. Participatory modelling in ecological economics: lessons from practice

Nuno Videira, Paula Antunes and Rui Santos

36. Input-output analysis

Jon D. Erickson and Melinda Kane

37. Sustainability indicators

Philippe Roman and Géraldine Thiry

Part IX Policy challenges

38. Commons

Bengi Akbulut

39. Uneven development and resource extractivism in Africa

Patrick Bond

40. Mining conflicts

Begüm Özkaynak and Beatriz Rodriguez-Labajos

41. Peak-oil and ecological economics

Christian Kerschner and Iñigo Capellán-Pérez

42. Human induced climate change from a political economy perspective

Max Koch

43. Ecosystem services

Erik Gómez-Baggethun

Part X Future post-growth society

44. Degrowth and democracy

Daniel Hausknost

45. The steady state economy

Brian Czech

46. Post-growth economics

Niko Paech

47. The bioregional economy: celebrating the local in production and consumption

Molly Scott Cato

48. The coming sustainable city

Laura Frye-Levine and Richard S. Levine

49. Eco-social enterprises

Nadia Johanisova and Eva Fraňková

50. Democracy, participation and social planning

Fikret Adaman and Pat Devine


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