Environmental sustainability as the first principle of distributive justice: Towards an ecological communitarian normative foundation for ecological economics
AbstractThe ecological economic concern with environmental sustainability embodies the normative orientations of the field. This concern is foremost a matter of distributive justice, the definition of which determines the relevance of the appropriate scale and efficient allocation criteria. Yet it would appear that the discipline lacks a shared, internally consistent set of ethical premises by which this concern might be legitimized. Various authors have embraced a Rawlsian conception of liberal justice as the appropriate banner for ecological economics in place of the consequentialist-libertarian foundations of neoclassical economics (including environmental economics). It is argued here that this is insufficient in so far as it is premised on a vision of a discrete, self-sufficient economic actor. Instead, it is posited that an ecological economic ethic must proceed from an understanding of the economic actor as community member -- a recognition implicit in recent ecological economic contributions focused on discourse ethics and deliberative democracy. An ecological communitarian conception of distributive justice, which views the well-being of the individual as inseparable from the integrity of its implicate, mutually constituting human and non-human natural communities, is advanced as the appropriate basis for the ecological economic world-view. In this light, the thermodynamic foundations of ecological economics are seen to provide the necessary departure point for normative decision-making oriented towards ensuring sustainability in economic organization.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.
Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 10 (August)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon
Distributive justice Sustainability Ethics Communitarianism Ecology Economics;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Vatn Arild & Bromley Daniel W., 1994. "Choices without Prices without Apologies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 129-148, March.
- Suri, Vivek & Chapman, Duane, 1998. "Economic growth, trade and energy: implications for the environmental Kuznets curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 195-208, May.
- Faber, Malte & Manstetten, Reiner & Proops, John L. R., 1995. "On the conceptual foundations of ecological economics: A teleological approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 41-54, January.
- Rothman, Dale S., 1998. "Environmental Kuznets curves--real progress or passing the buck?: A case for consumption-based approaches," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 177-194, May.
- Oluf Langhelle, 2000. "Sustainable Development and Social Justice: Expanding the Rawlsian Framework of Global Justice," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 9(3), pages 295-323, August.
- Aubauer, Hans P., 2006. "A just and efficient reduction of resource throughput to optimum," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 637-649, June.
- Becker, Christian, 2006. "The human actor in ecological economics: Philosophical approach and research perspectives," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 17-23, November.
- Soderbaum, Peter, 1999. "Values, ideology and politics in ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 161-170, February.
- Spash, Clive L. & d'Arge, Ralph C., 1989. "The greenhouse effect and intergenerational transfer," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 88-96, April.
- Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S. & Barbier, Edward B., 1996. "Economic growth and environmental degradation: The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1151-1160, July.
- Randhir, Timothy & Shriver, Deborah M., 2009. "Deliberative valuation without prices: A multiattribute prioritization for watershed ecosystem management," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 3042-3051, October.
- Torras, Mariano & Boyce, James K., 1998. "Income, inequality, and pollution: a reassessment of the environmental Kuznets Curve," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 147-160, May.
- Kenneth Arrow & Partha Dasgupta & Lawrence Goulder & Gretchen Daily & Paul Ehrlich & Geoffrey Heal & Simon Levin & Karl-Göran Mäler & Stephen Schneider & David Starrett & Brian Walker, 2004. "Are We Consuming Too Much?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 147-172, Summer.
- Bagliani, Marco & Bravo, Giangiacomo & Dalmazzone, Silvana, 2008. "A consumption-based approach to environmental Kuznets curves using the ecological footprint indicator," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 650-661, April.
- White, Thomas, 2000. "Diet and the distribution of environmental impact," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 145-153, July.
- Lumley, Sarah, 1997. "The environment and the ethics of discounting: An empirical analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-82, January.
- Azar, Christian & Sterner, Thomas, 1996. "Discounting and distributional considerations in the context of global warming," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 169-184, November.
- Faber, Malte & Petersen, Thomas & Schiller, Johannes, 2002. "Homo oeconomicus and homo politicus in Ecological Economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 323-333, March.
- Norton, Bryan G., 1989. "Intergenerational equity and environmental decisions: A model using Rawls' veil of ignorance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 137-159, May.
- Barrett, Christopher B., 1996. "Fairness, stewardship and sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 11-17, October.
- Daly, Herman E., 1992. "Allocation, distribution, and scale: towards an economics that is efficient, just, and sustainable," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 185-193, December.
- Sagoff, M., 1998. "Aggregation and deliberation in valuing environmental public goods:: A look beyond contingent pricing," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2-3), pages 213-230, February.
- DeCanio, Stephen J. & Niemann, Paul, 2006. "Equity effects of alternative assignments of global environmental rights," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 546-559, April.
- Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2006. "Fair adaptation to climate change," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 594-609, April.
- Norton, Bryan G. & Noonan, Douglas, 2007. "Ecology and valuation: Big changes needed," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 664-675, September.
- Gintis, Herbert, 2000. "Beyond Homo economicus: evidence from experimental economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 311-322, December.
- Lo, Alex, 2014. "The Problem of Methodological Pluralism in Ecological Economics," MPRA Paper 49543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Vojnovic, Igor & Darden, Joe T., 2013. "Class/racial conflict, intolerance, and distortions in urban form: Lessons for sustainability from the Detroit region," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 88-98.
- Kemp-Benedict, Eric, 2011. "Inequality, trust, and sustainability," MPRA Paper 33288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Venghaus, Sandra & Selbmann, Kirsten, 2014. "Biofuel as social fuel: Introducing socio-environmental services as a means to reduce global inequity?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 84-92.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.