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Integrated assessment and energy analysis: Quality assurance in multi-criteria analysis of sustainability


  • Giampietro, Mario
  • Mayumi, Kozo
  • Munda, Giuseppe


Science for sustainability policy requires the handling of multi-dimensional and multi-scale analyses. Integrated assessment is about generating information relevant for decision-making. This generates a divide between two scientific paradigms: (1) ‘Post-Normal Science’ acknowledges the unavoidable existence of non-equivalent perceptions and representations of the reality; legitimate but contrasting perspectives found among social actors; heavy levels of uncertainty. (2) ‘Normal Science’, believes that it is possible to handle in a rigorous and rational way these challenges and that therefore it is possible to define in substantive terms ‘the best course of action’ for society. This paper is written to explain the reasons and the tools developed by scientists working within the Post-Normal Science paradigm.

Suggested Citation

  • Giampietro, Mario & Mayumi, Kozo & Munda, Giuseppe, 2006. "Integrated assessment and energy analysis: Quality assurance in multi-criteria analysis of sustainability," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 59-86.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:31:y:2006:i:1:p:59-86
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. GiamPietro, Mario & Pimentel, David, 1991. "Energy efficiency: Assessing the interaction between humans and their environment," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 117-144, November.
    2. Munda, Giuseppe, 2004. "Social multi-criteria evaluation: Methodological foundations and operational consequences," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 158(3), pages 662-677, November.
    3. Munda, G. & Nijkamp, P. & Rietveld, P., 1995. "Qualitative multicriteria methods for fuzzy evaluation problems: An illustration of economic-ecological evaluation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 79-97, April.
    4. De Marchi, B. & Funtowicz, S. O. & Lo Cascio, S. & Munda, G., 2000. "Combining participative and institutional approaches with multicriteria evaluation. An empirical study for water issues in Troina, Sicily," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 267-282, August.
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