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Coevolutionary ecological economics

  • Kallis, Giorgos
  • Norgaard, Richard B.

This paper maps a coevolutionary research agenda for ecological economics. At an epistemological level coevolution offers a powerful logic for transcending environmental and social determinisms and developing a cross-disciplinary approach in the study of socio-ecological systems. We identify four consistent stories emerging out of coevolutionary studies in ecological economics, concerning: environmental degradation and development failure in peripheral regions; the lock-in of unsustainable production-consumption patterns; the vicious cycle between human efforts to control undesirable micro-organisms and the evolution of these organisms; and the adaptive advantages of other-regarding, cooperative behaviors and institutions. We identify challenges in the conceptualization of coevolutionary relationships in relation to: the interaction between different hierarchical levels of evolution; the role of space and social power; uneven rates of change and crises. We conclude with the political implications of a coevolutionary perspective based on the premises of pragmatism.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (February)
Pages: 690-699

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:4:p:690-699
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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