The Need for and Meaning of Social Ecological Economics

Spash, Clive L. (2017) The Need for and Meaning of Social Ecological Economics. SRE - Discussion Papers, 2017/02. WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna.


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Ecological economics has arisen over a period of three decades with a strong emphasis on the essential need to recognise the embeddedness of the economy in the biophysical. However, that element of realism is not matched by an equally well informed social theory. Indeed the tendency has been to adopt mainstream economic concepts, theories and models formulated of the basis of a formal mathematical deductivist approach that pays little or no attention to social reality. Similarly mainstream economic methods are employed as pragmatic devices for communication. As a result ecological economics has failed to develop its own consistent and coherent theory and failed to make the link between the social and the economic. In order to reverse this situation the social and political economy must be put to the fore and that is the aim of social ecological economics. This paper provides a brief overview of the arguments for such a development. The prospect is of unifying a range of critical thought on the social and environmental crises with the aim of informing the necessary social ecological transformation of the economy.

Item Type: Paper
Additional Information: A version of this discussion paper will appear in the forthcoming book: Spash, C.L. (ed.) (2017). Routledge Handbook of Ecological Economics: Nature and Society. Abingdon: Routledge
Keywords: ecological economics, social economy, political ecology, political economy, social ecological transformation, biophysical reality, mainstream economics, neoliberal environmentalism
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Multi-Level Governance and Development
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2017 08:41
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 00:41


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