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A bibliometric account of the evolution of EE in the last two decades: Is ecological economics (becoming) a post-normal science?

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  • Castro e Silva, Manuela
  • Teixeira, Aurora A.C.

Abstract

In ecological economics the debate on formalism and formalization has been addressed in the context of a lively discussion on ecological economics as a 'post-normal' (versus 'normal') science. Using ecological economics (EE) as a 'seed' journal and applying bibliometric techniques to all (2533) the articles published in EE from January 1989 to December 2009, we analyze the evolution of the field of ecological economics aiming to shed light on this debate. We observe the predominance (and increased relevance) of certain research topics: 'Methodological issues', 'Policies, governance and institutions' and 'Valuation'. Moreover, 'Collective action', 'Technical change and the environment' and 'Values' stand as emergent themes of research. Finally, we note that ecological economics experienced an 'empirical turn' reflected in a shift away from exclusively formalized papers towards exclusively empirical and, to a larger extent, 'formal and empirical' ones. The combination of the prominent and emergent topics and the 'empirical turn' mirrors the increasing awareness among researchers in the field of the need to address a key specificity of ecological economics -- the interdependence of the economic, biophysical and social spheres. On this basis, we argue that at least through the lens of EE, ecological economics has evolved towards a post-normal science.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 70 (2011)
Issue (Month): 5 (March)
Pages: 849-862

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:5:p:849-862

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

Related research

Keywords: Ecological economics Bibliometrics Research trends Methodology Post-normal science;

References

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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.:
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Roger Fouquet, 2012. "Economics of Energy and Climate Change: Origins, Developments and Growth," Working Papers 2012-08, BC3.
  2. David I. Stern, 2012. "Ecological Economics," Crawford School Research Papers 1203, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  3. Spash, Clive L., 2013. "The shallow or the deep ecological economics movement?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 351-362.
  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. Lo, Alex, 2014. "The Problem of Methodological Pluralism in Ecological Economics," MPRA Paper 49543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Anderson, Blake & M'Gonigle, Michael, 2012. "Does ecological economics have a future?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 37-48.
  7. Maria Lúcia Pato & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2013. "Twenty years of rural entrepreneurship: a bibliometric survey," FEP Working Papers 516, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  8. Renuga Nagarajan & Aurora A.C. Teixeira & Sandra T. Silva, 2013. "The impact of population ageing on economic growth: an in-depth bibliometric analysis," FEP Working Papers 505, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  9. Du, Yuxin & Teixeira, Aurora A.C., 2012. "A bibliometric account of Chinese economics research through the lens of the China Economic Review," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 743-762.

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