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Ecology Versus Market Capitalism: A Threat for the 21st Century?


  • Ana Bela Nunes
  • Nuno Valerio


Market capitalism has been the economic system of the contemporary world economy since the early stages of its formation. However, at the same time, market capitalism has been subject to a number of threats. Some of these threats arise from market failures. Others arise from the development of anticapitalist ideologies. During the 20th century, market failures were most conspicuous during war periods and anti-capitalist ideologies mainly took the form of socialist doctrines. At the beginning of the 21st century, a global war seems unlikely, but terrorism presents a threat that may have a number of similar consequences; likewise, socialism (at least in its radical forms) seems obsolete, but anti-globalist movements seem to replace it in a similar role. However, we argue that the main problem that may threaten the role of market capitalism as a global economic system and force it to undergo radical adaptations is the need to preserve natural equilibria.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Bela Nunes & Nuno Valerio, 2005. "Ecology Versus Market Capitalism: A Threat for the 21st Century?," Working Papers GHES - Office of Economic and Social History 2005/24, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, GHES - Social and Economic History Research Unit, Universidade de Lisboa.
  • Handle: RePEc:ise:gheswp:wp242005

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