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Socio-Ecological Regime Transitions in Austria and the United Kingdom

  • Fridolin Krausmann
  • Heinz Schandl

    ()

    (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)

  • Rolf Peter Sieferle

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

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.

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Paper provided by CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems in its series Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series with number 2007-05.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cse:wpaper:2007-05
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  7. Weisz, Helga & Krausmann, Fridolin & Amann, Christof & Eisenmenger, Nina & Erb, Karl-Heinz & Hubacek, Klaus & Fischer-Kowalski, Marina, 2006. "The physical economy of the European Union: Cross-country comparison and determinants of material consumption," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 676-698, July.
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