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Relating the philosophy and practice of ecological economics: The role of concepts, models, and case studies in inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability research

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  • Baumgärtner, Stefan
  • Becker, Christian
  • Frank, Karin
  • Müller, Birgit
  • Quaas, Martin

Abstract

We develop a general and unifying methodology for ecological economics which integrates philosophical considerations on the foundations of ecological economics with an adequate operationalization. We argue that the subject matter and aims of ecological economics require a specific combination of inter- and transdisciplinary research, and discuss the epistemological position on which this methodology is based. In accordance with this understanding of inter- and transdisciplinarity and the underlying epistemological position, we develop an operationalization which comprises simultaneous analysis on three levels of abstraction: concepts, (generic) models and case studies. This provides a systematic and integral view on ecological economics, and thus allows one to see the relationship between contributions to the field that have so far been perceived as very heterogeneous and largely unrelated. At the same time, this methodological framework may provide orientation for the further development of ecological economics.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 67 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 384-393

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:67:y:2008:i:3:p:384-393

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

Related research

Keywords: Ecological economics Interdisciplinarity Philosophy of science Sustainability Transdisciplinarity;

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References

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  1. Muller, Birgit & Frank, Karin & Wissel, Christian, 2007. "Relevance of rest periods in non-equilibrium rangeland systems - A modelling analysis," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 92(1-3), pages 295-317, January.
  2. Martin F. Quaas & Stefan Baumgärtner, 2006. "Natural vs. financial insurance in the management of public-good ecosystems," Working Paper Series in Economics 34, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  3. Hirsch Hadorn, Gertrude & Bradley, David & Pohl, Christian & Rist, Stephan & Wiesmann, Urs, 2006. "Implications of transdisciplinarity for sustainability research," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 119-128, November.
  4. Faber, Malte, 2008. "How to be an ecological economist," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-7, May.
  5. Norgaard, Richard B., 1989. "The case for methodological pluralism," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 37-57, February.
  6. Quaas, Martin F. & Baumgartner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Frank, Karin & Muller, Birgit, 2007. "Uncertainty and sustainability in the management of rangelands," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 251-266, April.
  7. George A. Akerlof, 2007. "The Missing Motivation in Macroeconomics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 5-36, March.
  8. Funtowicz, Silvio O. & Ravetz, Jerome R., 1994. "The worth of a songbird: ecological economics as a post-normal science," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 197-207, August.
  9. Becker, Christian & Faber, Malte & Hertel, Kirsten & Manstetten, Reiner, 2005. "Malthus vs. Wordsworth: Perspectives on humankind, nature and economy. A contribution to the history and the foundations of ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 299-310, May.
  10. Baumgartner, Stefan & Becker, Christian & Faber, Malte & Manstetten, Reiner, 2006. "Relative and absolute scarcity of nature. Assessing the roles of economics and ecology for biodiversity conservation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 487-498, October.
  11. Tacconi, Luca, 1998. "Scientific methodology for ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 91-105, October.
  12. Baumgärtner, Stefan & Quaas, Martin, 2005. "The private and public insurance value of conservative biodiversity management," UFZ Discussion Papers 27/2005, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
  13. Max-Neef, Manfred A., 2005. "Foundations of transdisciplinarity," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 5-16, April.
  14. Gowdy, John M. & Ferreri Carbonell, Ada, 1999. "Toward consilience between biology and economics: the contribution of Ecological Economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 337-348, June.
  15. Norton, Bryan G. & Noonan, Douglas, 2007. "Ecology and valuation: Big changes needed," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 664-675, September.
  16. Proops, John L. R., 1989. "Ecological economics: Rationale and problem areas," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 59-76, February.
  17. Faber, Malte & Frank, Karin & Klauer, Bernd & Manstetten, Reiner & Schiller, Johannes & Wissel, Christian, 2005. "On the foundation of a general theory of stocks," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 155-172, November.
  18. Muller, Adrian, 2003. "A flower in full blossom?: Ecological economics at the crossroads between normal and post-normal science," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 19-27, April.
  19. Stefan Baumgärtner & Martin F. Quaas, 2007. "Ecological-economic viability as a criterion of strong sustainability under uncertainty," Working Paper Series in Economics 67, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  20. Becker, Christian, 2006. "The human actor in ecological economics: Philosophical approach and research perspectives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 17-23, November.
  21. Ropke, Inge, 2005. "Trends in the development of ecological economics from the late 1980s to the early 2000s," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 262-290, November.
  22. Pezzey, J., 1992. "Sustainable Development Concepts; An Economic Analysis," Papers 2, World Bank - The World Bank Environment Paper.
  23. Costanza, Robert, 1989. "What is ecological economics?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 1-7, February.
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Citations

RePEc Biblio mentions

As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
  1. > Schools of Economic Thought, Epistemology of Economics > Heterodox Approaches > Ecological Economics
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Spash, Clive L., 2013. "The shallow or the deep ecological economics movement?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 351-362.
  2. Wissel, Silvia & Wätzold, Frank, 2008. "Applying tradable permits to biodiversity conservation: A conceptual analysis of trading rules," UFZ Discussion Papers 7/2008, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
  3. Lo, Alex, 2014. "The Problem of Methodological Pluralism in Ecological Economics," MPRA Paper 49543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Ecological Economics and Philosophy of Science: Ontology, Epistemology, Methodology and Ideology," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_03, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  5. Clive L. Spash, 2012. "Towards the integration of social, economic and ecological knowledge," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2012_04, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  6. Linda Vanasupa & Lizabeth Schlemer & Roger Burton & Courtney Brogno & Ginger Hendrix & Neal MacDougall, 2014. "Laying the Foundation for Transdisciplinary Faculty Collaborations: Actions for a Sustainable Future," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(5), pages 2893-2928, May.
  7. Kastenhofer, Karen & Bechtold, Ulrike & Wilfing, Harald, 2011. "Sustaining sustainability science: The role of established inter-disciplines," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 835-843, February.
  8. Stefan Baumgärtner & Martin F. Quaas, 2009. "What is sustainability economics?," Working Paper Series in Economics 138, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  9. Ferraro, Emilia & Reid, Louise, 2013. "On sustainability and materiality. Homo faber, a new approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 125-131.
  10. Bojkovic, Natasa & Anic, Ivan & Pejcic-Tarle, Snezana, 2010. "One solution for cross-country transport-sustainability evaluation using a modified ELECTRE method," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1176-1186, March.
  11. Castro e Silva, Manuela & Teixeira, Aurora A.C., 2011. "A bibliometric account of the evolution of EE in the last two decades: Is ecological economics (becoming) a post-normal science?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(5), pages 849-862, March.

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