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Socio-ecological regime transitions in Austria and the United Kingdom

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  • Krausmann, Fridolin
  • Schandl, Heinz
  • Sieferle, Rolf Peter

Abstract

We employ the concepts of socio-ecological regime and regime transition to better understand the biophysical causes and consequences of industrialization. For two case studies, the United Kingdom and Austria we describe two steps in a major transition from an agrarian to an industrial socio-ecological regime and the resulting consequences for energy use, land use and labour organization. In a first step, the coal based industrial regime co-existed with an agricultural sector remaining within the bounds of the old regime. In a second step, the oil/electricity based industrial regime, agriculture was integrated into the new pattern and the socio-ecological transition had been completed. Industrialization offers an answer to the input and growth related sustainability problems of the agrarian regime but creates new sustainability problems of a larger scale. While today's industrial societies are stabilizing their resource use albeit at an unsustainable level large parts of the global society are in midst of the old industrial transition. This poses severe problems for global sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Krausmann, Fridolin & Schandl, Heinz & Sieferle, Rolf Peter, 2008. "Socio-ecological regime transitions in Austria and the United Kingdom," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 187-201, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:65:y:2008:i:1:p:187-201
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    JEL classification:

    • N5 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy

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