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Can the Concept of Integrative and Segregative Institutions Contribute to the Framing of Institutions of Sustainability?

Author

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  • Konrad Hagedorn

    () (Division of Resource Economics, Department of Agricultural Economics; Workshop in Institutional Analysis of Social-Ecological Systems (WINS); Berlin Institute of Cooperative Studies, Humboldt University Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, Berlin 10099, Germany)

Abstract

This paper begins with the question “What is special about those institutions that bring about sustainability”? In an attempt to answer this, I use the Institutions of Sustainability (IoS) framework, which structures sustainability analytically according to four main categories, namely: transactions, actors, institutions and governance structures. I then argue that sustainability has to do with balancing two sorts of costs an actor may face while being constrained by institutions. One is the costs from the integrative effects of institutions on his individual decision making. The other is the costs from the segregative effect of institutions. In this way, sustainability can be understood as societies’ compromise between institutions that integrate individual actors’ decisions in a wider system, holding them fully responsible for more or less all of the effects of their choices and those institutions that partly free individual decision makers from parts of such responsibilities. If a governance problem is characterized by a high degree of “decomposability”, segregative rules may be sufficient. The more a governance problem is characterized by complexity due to low modularity and high functional interdependencies, the more accurate integrative rules may be. The paper concludes by identifying “sustainability area of institutional embedding” as a regulative idea in understanding sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Konrad Hagedorn, 2015. "Can the Concept of Integrative and Segregative Institutions Contribute to the Framing of Institutions of Sustainability?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(1), pages 1-28, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:7:y:2015:i:1:p:584-611:d:44297
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Paavola, Jouni, 2007. "Institutions and environmental governance: A reconceptualization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 93-103, June.
    2. Boulding, Kenneth E, 1969. "Economics as a Moral Science," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 1-12, March.
    3. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
    4. Konrad Hagedorn, 2008. "Particular requirements for institutional analysis in nature-related sectors," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 35(3), pages 357-384, September.
    5. Daly, Herman E., 1990. "Toward some operational principles of sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-6, April.
    6. Vatn, Arild, 2005. "Rationality, institutions and environmental policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 203-217, November.
    7. Paavola, Jouni & Adger, W. Neil, 2005. "Institutional ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-368, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ionel Bostan & Flavian Clipa & Raluca Irina Clipa, 2016. "Informal Institutions And Economic Performance," Knowledge Horizons - Economics, Faculty of Finance, Banking and Accountancy Bucharest,"Dimitrie Cantemir" Christian University Bucharest, vol. 8(2), pages 53-58, June.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:393-:d:129961 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:409-:d:130229 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:ecolec:v:151:y:2018:i:c:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1486-:d:109178 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Grundmann, Philipp & Ehlers, Melf-Hinrich, 2016. "Determinants of courses of action in bioenergy villages responding to changes in renewable heat utilization policy," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 183-192.
    7. Thiel, Andreas & Schleyer, Christian & Hinkel, Jochen & Schlüter, Maja & Hagedorn, Konrad & Bisaro, Sandy & Bobojonov, Ihtiyor & Hamidov, Ahmad, 2016. "Transferring Williamson's discriminating alignment to the analysis of environmental governance of social-ecological interdependence," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 159-168.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    institutional analysis; sustainability; transactions; interdependence; governance;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • 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
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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