Table of Contents

The International Handbook of Political Ecology

The International Handbook of Political Ecology

Edited by Raymond L. Bryant

The International Handbook features chapters by leading scholars from around the world in a unique collection exploring the multi-disciplinary field of political ecology. This landmark volume canvasses key developments, topics, issues, debates and concepts showcasing how political ecologists today address pressing social and environmental concerns. Introductory chapters provide an overview of political ecology and the Handbook. Remaining chapters examine five broad themes: issues and approaches; governance and power; knowledge and discourse; method and scale; connections and transformations. Across diverse topics and perspectives, these chapters amount to a wide-ranging survey of current research, making the International Handbook an indispensable reference for scholars and students in political ecology.

Chapter 41: From ecological modernization to socially sustainable economic degrowth: lessons from ecological economics

Hali Healy, Joan Martinez-Alier and Giorgos Kallis

Subjects: environment, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, geography, human geography, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


This chapter argues for a cross-fertilization of political ecology with ecological economics. More specifically, it calls for greater efforts to link political ecology with ongoing movements outside academia, such as the global environmental justice movement and the degrowth movement in Europe. First, the authors consider the links between ecological economics and political ecology and some of the ways in which cross-fertilization has occurred. They then present a line of ecological economics research that employs a particular political ecological–economic vocabulary and analytic framework to analyse environmental conflicts and injustices, both of which are central subjects of political ecology. The focus is in particular on a ‘political’ stream of work within ecological economics concerned with intra-and intergenerational distribution and conflicting languages of valuation. Emergent work around the eco-egalitarian imaginary of ‘degrowth’ is subsequently introduced and briefly described. The authors argue that ecological economics has valuable insights to offer to political ecologists seeking to supplant the depoliticizing discourse of ecological modernization. They conclude that a deepening of exchange and collaboration between political ecology and ecological economics holds considerable transformative potential, especially since the relevance of political ecology lies in its ability to contribute to the construction of a more sustainable future.

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