Advances in Ecological Economics series
Edited by Cutler J. Cleveland, David I. Stern and Robert Costanza
Introduction: The Changing Nature of Economics – Towards an Ecological Economics
Cutler J. Cleveland, Robert Costanza and David I. Stern Like any field of scientific inquiry, ecological economics has evolved along several different fronts. One important element is an understanding of the history of the field, which is characterized by interwoven strands from ecology, physics, the physiocratic and classical schools of economics, and other fields in the social and natural social sciences. Another important area is the relation of neoclassical economics to ecological economics. Part of the impetus behind the creation of the International Society for Ecological Economics was the growing recognition that, by itself, neoclassical economics could not fully explain the sources of depletion and degradation, nor could it provide a reliable compass for future development. A third broad strand of work is the empirical analysis of energy and material flows within and between economic and environmental systems. This work ranges widely, from the construction of sustainability indicators to land use models. This book covers some of the important recent developments in the theory, concepts and empirical applications of ecological economics and sustainable development. It contains contributions from some of the leading scholars in the field of ecological economics. The book is divided into two parts. Part I, The Nature of Economics, includes chapters on the contribution of classical economics to ecological economics, valuation in ecological economics, the role of communication in the discourse on sustainable development, and a classification system for theories and methods in ecological economics. Part II, The Economics of Nature, includes chapters on alternatives to the...