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The Shallow or the Deep Ecological Economics Movement?

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  • Clive L. Spash

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Abstract

Ecological economics and its policy recommendations have become overwhelmed by economic valuation, shadow pricing, sustainability measures, and squeezing Nature into the commodity boxes of goods, services and capital in order to make it part of mainstream economic, financial and banking discourses. There are deeper concerns which touch upon the understanding of humanity in its various social, psychological, political and ethical facets. The relationship with Nature proposed by the ecological economics movement has the potential to be far reaching. However, this is not the picture portrayed by surveying the amassed body of articles from this journal or by many of those claiming affiliation. A shallow movement, allied to a business as usual politics and economy, has become dominant and imposes its preoccupation with mainstream economic concepts and values. If, instead, ecological economists choose a path deep into the world of interdisciplinary endeavour they will need to be prepared to transform themselves and society. The implications go far beyond the pragmatic use of magic numbers to convince politicians and the public that ecology still has something relevant to say in the 21st Century.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business in its series SRE-Disc with number sre-disc-2013_01.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwsre:sre-disc-2013_01

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Postal: Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria
Web page: http://www.wu-wien.ac.at/ruw/

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Keywords: Social Ecological Economics; Resource and Environmental Economics; Pragmatism; Political Economy; Radical Economics; Ontology; Epistemology; Methodology; Ideology;

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