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The Shallow or the Deep Ecological Economics Movement?

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  • Clive L. Spash

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Abstract

Ecological economics and its policy recommendations have become overwhelmed by economic valuation, shadow pricing, sustainability measures, and squeezing Nature into the commodity boxes of goods, services and capital in order to make it part of mainstream economic, financial and banking discourses. There are deeper concerns which touch upon the understanding of humanity in its various social, psychological, political and ethical facets. The relationship with Nature proposed by the ecological economics movement has the potential to be far reaching. However, this is not the picture portrayed by surveying the amassed body of articles from this journal or by many of those claiming affiliation. A shallow movement, allied to a business as usual politics and economy, has become dominant and imposes its preoccupation with mainstream economic concepts and values. If, instead, ecological economists choose a path deep into the world of interdisciplinary endeavour they will need to be prepared to transform themselves and society. The implications go far beyond the pragmatic use of magic numbers to convince politicians and the public that ecology still has something relevant to say in the 21st Century.

Suggested Citation

  • Clive L. Spash, 2013. "The Shallow or the Deep Ecological Economics Movement?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2013_01, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwsre:sre-disc-2013_01
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    Cited by:

    1. Spash, Clive L., 2015. "Bulldozing Biodiversity: The Economics of Optimal Extinction," SRE-Discussion Papers 4450, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:137:y:2017:i:c:p:126-132 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Plumecocq, Gaël, 2014. "The second generation of ecological economics: How far has the apple fallen from the tree?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, pages 457-468.
    4. repec:eee:ecolec:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:245-260 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gruszka, Katarzyna & Scharbert, Annika Regine & Soder, Michael, 2017. "Leaving the mainstream behind? Uncovering subjective understandings of economics instructors' roles," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 485-498.
    6. Herrmann-Pillath, Carsten, 2015. "Energy, growth, and evolution: Towards a naturalistic ontology of economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 432-442.
    7. repec:eee:ecolec:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:186-194 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Strunz, Sebastian & Klauer, Bernd & Ring, Irene & Schiller, Johannes, 2014. "Between Scylla and Charybdis: On the place of economic methods and concepts within ecological economics," UFZ Discussion Papers 26/2014, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).
    9. Bredin, Yennie K. & Lindhjem, Henrik & van Dijk, Jiska & Linnell, John D.C., 2015. "Mapping value plurality towards ecosystem services in the case of Norwegian wildlife management: A Q analysis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 198-206.
    10. Pirgmaier, Elke, 2017. "The Neoclassical Trojan Horse of Steady-State Economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 52-61.
    11. Morgan, Jamie, 2017. "Piketty and the Growth Dilemma Revisited in the Context of Ecological Economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 169-177.
    12. Nilsen, Heidi Rapp & Ellingsen, May-Britt, 2015. "The power of environmental indifference. A critical discourse analysis of a collaboration of tourism firms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 26-33.

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    Keywords

    Social Ecological Economics; Resource and Environmental Economics; Pragmatism; Political Economy; Radical Economics; Ontology; Epistemology; Methodology; Ideology;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • B59 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Other
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology

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