We discuss the recent emergence of 'deliberative ecological economics', a field that highlights the potential of deliberation for improving environmental governance. We locate the emergence of this literature in the long concern in ecological economics over the policy implications of limited views of human action and its encounter with deliberative democracy scholarship and the model of communicative rationality as an alternative to utilitarianism. Considering criticisms over methods used and the focus of research in deliberative decision-making, we put forward a research agenda for deliberative ecological economics. Given the promising potential of deliberative processes for improving the effectiveness and legitimacy of environmental decision-making, work in this area could help advance both theory and practice in environmental governance. © 2010 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Deliberative democracy
- Ecological economics
- Environmental decision-making
- Preference formation
- Sustainability governance