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Ecosystems, strong sustainability and the classical circular economy

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  • Martins, Nuno Ornelas

Abstract

In this article I argue that notions such as ecosystem services and strong sustainability can be best understood and developed within the theoretical framework advanced by the classical political economists, in which a circular conception of the economy is provided. I also argue that the development of notions such as ecosystem services and strong sustainability has been constrained by the dominance of neoclassical economics, which provides a linear conception of the economy and leads to an emphasis on weak sustainability, which in turn springs from an emphasis on substitutability and aggregate capital. When assessing the relevance of classical political economy for studying ecosystem services and strong sustainability I consider not only the contributions of the classical political economists, but also more recent contributions which draw upon the classical perspective, such as Piero Sraffa's and Amartya Sen's.

Suggested Citation

  • Martins, Nuno Ornelas, 2016. "Ecosystems, strong sustainability and the classical circular economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 32-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:129:y:2016:i:c:p:32-39
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.06.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Amartya Sen, 2005. "Walsh on Sen after Putnam," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 107-113.
    4. de Groot, Rudolf S. & Wilson, Matthew A. & Boumans, Roelof M. J., 2002. "A typology for the classification, description and valuation of ecosystem functions, goods and services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 393-408, June.
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    17. Ronald L. Meek, 1961. "Mr. Sraffa'S Rehabilitation Of Classical Economics1," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 8(2), pages 119-136, June.
    18. Martins, Nuno, 2011. "Sustainability economics, ontology and the capability approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-4.
    19. Martha Nussbaum, 2003. "Tragedy and Human Capabilities: A response to Vivian Walsh," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 413-418.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecomod:v:362:y:2017:i:c:p:19-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Yoann Verger, 2018. "First steps for a Sraffian ecological economics. An answer to Martins' “The Classical Circular Economy, Sraffian Ecological Economics and the Capabilities Approach”," Working Papers hal-01700228, HAL.
    3. Morgan, Jamie, 2017. "Piketty and the Growth Dilemma Revisited in the Context of Ecological Economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 169-177.

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