Coevolutionary ecological economics

Giorgos Kallis, Richard B. Norgaard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper maps a coevolutionary research agenda for ecological economics. At an epistemological level coevolution offers a powerful logic for transcending environmental and social determinisms and developing a cross-disciplinary approach in the study of socio-ecological systems. We identify four consistent stories emerging out of coevolutionary studies in ecological economics, concerning: environmental degradation and development failure in peripheral regions; the lock-in of unsustainable production-consumption patterns; the vicious cycle between human efforts to control undesirable micro-organisms and the evolution of these organisms; and the adaptive advantages of other-regarding, cooperative behaviors and institutions. We identify challenges in the conceptualization of coevolutionary relationships in relation to: the interaction between different hierarchical levels of evolution; the role of space and social power; uneven rates of change and crises. We conclude with the political implications of a coevolutionary perspective based on the premises of pragmatism. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-699
JournalEcological Economics
Volume69
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2010

Keywords

  • Coevolution
  • Development
  • Evolution
  • Socio-ecological systems

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