Towards an evolutionary environmental regulation of capitalism : sustainable development 20 years after
AbstractThe paper argues that by combining ecological economics, IPE and regulation approaches more closely, one may provide an account of the apparent contradiction between the utopian aspect of sustainable development and the ability of capitalism to pragmatically deal with ecological crises. It explores how ensuing institutional forms inevitably take sustainability claims into account. It assumes that such forms revolve around the emergence of a new type of evolutionary environmental regulation whose coherence is paradoxically at once open-ended, fragmented and hybrid. This feature clearly reinforces the extreme difficulty in thinking about ecological regularities. The paper analyses core elements of such institutional forms and how far they can be identified as a new type of fragmented evolutionary environmental regulation. Section 1 provides background on the notion of sustainable development. Sections 2 examines the prospects and limits of regulation theory on global ecological issues and presents lessons could be drawn from ecological economics and international political economy approaches for opening new routes to appraise current and future environmental concerns of capitalism. Section 3 explores the emerging form of evolutionary environmental regulation reflecting the apparently paradoxical situation we have reached, in which disillusion regarding sustainable development goes hand in hand with increasing awareness of the inescapability of a policy shift in its favour.
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Date of creation: 22 Mar 2007
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Publication status: Published - Presented, Future Routes for Regulation Theory : atelier, 2007, Lausanne, Switzerland
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