Marletto, Gerardo Ettore (2009) Heterodox environmental economics: theoretical strands in search of a paradigm. Economia delle fonti di energia e dell'ambiente, Vol. 52 (1), p. 25-33. eISSN 1972-4950. Article.
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Heterodox environmental economics is mainly based on non-mainstream economic theories; in particular it refers to two classic strands of economics (and to their recent revival and cross-fertilization): institutional economics and Schumpeterian economics. Starting from these theoretical foundations, heterodox environmental economics radically differs from the mainstream (market-centred and static) approach to positive and normative environmental economics. Three basic concepts are at the hearth of such a different vision: resource regimes, as institutional structures established to regulate access to natural resources and their use; environmental appraisals, as value articulating institutions conditioned by the incommensurability of conflicting values; sociotechnical transitions, as dynamic processes that are needed to unlock existing unsustainable technologies, institutions and values. These considerations are not sufficient to say that heterodox environmental economics has already become a paradigm; a stable community of researchers defining themselves as ‘heterodox environmental economists’ still does not exist. Time will tell if some emerging connections between different research groups will generate the social core of a nascent paradigm.
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