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Socio-Ecological Regime Transitions in Austria and the United Kingdom

Author

Listed:
  • Fridolin Krausmann
  • Heinz Schandl

    () (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)

  • Rolf Peter Sieferle

    (Department of History, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland)

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. As the first step, the coal based industrial regime co-existed with an agricultural sector remaining within the bounds of the old regime. In the 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 answers 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 the midst of the old industrial transition. This poses severe problems for global sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Fridolin Krausmann & Heinz Schandl & Rolf Peter Sieferle, 2007. "Socio-Ecological Regime Transitions in Austria and the United Kingdom," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2007-05, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
  • Handle: RePEc:cse:wpaper:2007-05
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    socio-ecological regimes; metabolic profiles; transition; social metabolism; energy flows; land use; labour; industrialization; United Kingdom; Austria;

    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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