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Unraveling the veil of fuzziness: A thick description of sustainability economics

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  • Remig, Moritz C.

Abstract

This article provides a thick description (Geertz, 1973) of sustainability economics. Baumgärtner and Quaas (2010a, b) have proposed as an alternative to ecological economics the new field of sustainability economics, which has triggered various replies. The purpose here is to order and to review these contributions. Building upon a literature review of sustainability economics, the paper argues that the concept currently has more of a fuzzy and declamatory character. The rhetoric (McCloskey, 1998) of sustainability economics contains general issues of sustainability economics, externalities and the capability approach. The article argues that it is currently not clear how the solutions for science and policy proposed by sustainability economics differ from those of ecological economics. Efforts should be directed towards further development of the theory and the operationalization of sustainability principles. The systemic view of co-evolutionary development, social learning and sustainability economics' normative underpinning merits more consideration in the debate about sustainability economics.

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  • Remig, Moritz C., 2015. "Unraveling the veil of fuzziness: A thick description of sustainability economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 194-202.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:109:y:2015:i:c:p:194-202
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.11.016
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    Cited by:

    1. Remig, Moritz C., 2017. "Structured pluralism in ecological economics — A reply to Peter Söderbaum's commentary," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 533-537.
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:147:y:2018:i:c:p:21-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:ecolec:v:138:y:2017:i:c:p:40-46 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Sustainable development; Ecological economics; Sustainability economics; Externalities; Efficiency; Capability approach;

    JEL classification:

    • B59 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Other
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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