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Conceptual and political foundations for examining the interaction between nature and economy

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  • Faber, Malte
  • Frick, Marc

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to contribute to an innovative agenda in the field of Environmental Economics. The paper focusses on a conceptual and political perspective on the interactions between nature and economy. Section 1 states that Environmental Economics has to consider three fields: nature, justice and the role of time. To operationalize this claim, we introduce fundamental concepts such as entropy, joint production, ignorance, evolution, absolute scarcity, responsibility and homo politicus and explain them in Section 2. These concepts are applied in Section 3 using a historical example, namely the soda-chlorine industry, extending over a period of about three centuries. The lessons taken from this economic, environmental and political evolution are outlined in Section 4. In Section 5, we apply the concept of responsibility to address political aspects dealt with when examining the interplay between nature and economy. In our outlook in Section 6, we argue that these concepts and further concepts do not form a hierarchically structured system. Instead they are conceived as a network of interdependent concepts that reference each other but also remain categorically distinct from one another.

Suggested Citation

  • Faber, Malte & Frick, Marc, 2019. "Conceptual and political foundations for examining the interaction between nature and economy," Working Papers 0659, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:awi:wpaper:0659
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Malte Faber & Reiner Manstetten & John L.R. Proops, 1992. "Humankind and the environment: an anatomy of surprise and ignorance," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 1(3), pages 217-241, August.
    2. Anthony Downs, 1957. "An Economic Theory of Political Action in a Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65, pages 135-135.
    3. Faber, Malte & Petersen, Thomas & Schiller, Johannes, 2002. "Homo oeconomicus and homo politicus in Ecological Economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 323-333, March.
    4. Faber, Malte, 2008. "How to be an ecological economist," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-7, May.
    5. Faber, Malte & Frank, Karin & Klauer, Bernd & Manstetten, Reiner & Schiller, Johannes & Wissel, Christian, 2005. "On the foundation of a general theory of stocks," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 155-172, November.
    6. Derissen, Sandra & Quaas, Martin F. & Baumgärtner, Stefan, 2011. "The relationship between resilience and sustainability of ecological-economic systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1121-1128, April.
    7. Reiner Manstetten & Olaf Hottinger & Malte Faber, 1998. "Zur Aktualitõt von Adam Smith: Homo oeconomicus und ganzheitliches Menschenbild," Homo Oeconomicus, Institute of SocioEconomics, vol. 15, pages 127-168.
    8. Stefan Baumgärtner & Malte Faber & Johannes Schiller, 2006. "Joint Production and Responsibility in Ecological Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 2598.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    absolute and relative scarcity; evolution; joint production; ignorance; responsibility; power of judgment; homo politicus;

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