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  • 1.
    Larsson, Markus
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Business.
    Granstedt, Artur
    Biodynam Res Inst, Järna.
    Sustainable governance of the agriculture and the Baltic Sea - Agricultural reforms, food production and curbed eutrophication2010In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 69, no 10, p. 1943-1951Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Agricultural production and nutrient loads to the Baltic Sea are likely to increase following Poland's and the Baltic States' entrance into the EU. According to HELCOM these trends will be highly dependent on the agricultural policies of the EU. The expansion of the EU can be seen as a window of opportunity where agricultural policy could improve the Baltic Sea environment. Longstanding initiatives with local organic food systems and Ecological Recycling Agriculture (ERA) in the eight EU-countries in the Baltic Sea drainage area were evaluated during 2001-2004. The empirical results were scaled up to calculate environmental impact and food production for three different scenarios. In one scenario the Baltic Countries and Poland convert their agriculture following the average Swedish production. This resulted in 58% increase of nitrogen and 18% increase in phosphorus surplus, a corresponding increase in the load to the Baltic Sea and increased food production. In two other scenarios agriculture production in the whole Baltic Sea drainage area converts to ERA. This halved the nitrogen surplus from agriculture and eliminated the surplus of phosphorus. In these scenarios food production would decrease or remain stable depending on strategy chosen.

  • 2.
    Pieńkowski, Dariusz
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Selfishness, cooperation, the evolutionary point of view and its implications for economics2009In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 69, no 2, p. 335-344Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The assumed selfishness of market actors could be considered in the context of two perspectives: macroeconomic and microeconomic. The first concerns the market mechanism as the most effective from the social well-being or the wealth of a nation points of view. The latter is based on the premises of the nature of human beings. I have distinguished between two possible ways of understanding selfish forms of behaviour in the market: as rational economic behaviour i.e. the most effective from the gains and losses point of view (i.e. public interests in the works of A. Smith) or as selfish from the psychological point of view (this is mostly presented by J. S. Mill's theory). The first approach seems to be concerned with the creation of the most effective market mechanism from the State's point of view. In the context of historical processes over 400 years, cultural evolution "has been promoting" selfish behaviour; for example, it was widely presented in T. Hobbes' works and then for over 200 years, the theory of A. Smith has been supporting and moulding the institutional context of market and social behaviour. Thus, positive economics describes the market created by the ideas of a neo-classical paradigm, which is based on the normative premises of A. Smith and J. S. Mill. Moreover, the virtual market behaviour described by "effects" (f. e. Veblen's effect) and failures seems to be a manifestation of a discrepancy between market reality and the classical assumptions. The social evolution of human beings has been advantageous to the human species. Moreover, from the social point of view, pro-social behaviour is "natural" as well as desirable and it has been preferred by the cultural evolution. Competitiveness assumes that somebody has to lose, because someone gains. Cooperation looks for gains for all the players. The choice is political, and not imposed by selfishness.

  • 3.
    Soderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    The Plundered Planet, Why We Must - and How We Can - Manage Nature for Global Prosperity2011In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 70, no 6, p. 1240-1240Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Actors, ideology, markets: Neoclassical and institutional perspectives on environmental policy1994In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 47-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This essay is a critical examination of three well-known textbooks of neoclassical environmental economics  concerning their treatment of environmental policy. Dynamic efficiency in the sense of Cost-Benefit Analysis of a monetary kind is not the value-neutral instrument to project and policy evaluation it purports to be. Measuring willingness-to-pay and other market values does not solve many problems if the issue is one of world view, ideology and life-styles. As an alternative to conventional approaches. a more open attitude to various ideological standpoints in society is recommended.

    Neoclassical textbooks emphasize the government as the main agent in environmental policy and classify policy instruments as either belonging to the command-and-control or the economic incentives category. A broadening of perspective is here suggested in the sense ofincluding many more agents of environmental policy; for instance business companies and public interest groups. Environmental policy starts rather at the level of individuals than governments. A distinction is made between monetary and non-monetary incentives and disincentives as ways of influencing behavior, and alternatives to the neoclassical view of man, business, markets are suggested for purposes of understanding social change.

  • 5.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Ecological economics in relation to democracy, ideology and politics2013In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 95, no 2013, p. 221-225Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two recent studies and policy documents are discussed in the present article. One is a UN report prepared by experienced politicians as input into the 2012 Rio de Janeiro Conference, the other a study about the ecological economics of biodiversity.

    The UN report is of interest in informing about the thinking of politicians and their recommendations for action. Is is however a consensus report where more fundamental changes in perspectives are not considered but rather avoided. A number of ecological econnomists participated in the second study on biodiversity. They demonstrated consciousness about many of the critical arguments about Cost-Benefit Analysis but finally argued in favor of relying on the conceptual framework of neoclassical economics with its CBA. The present author is criticizing this idea of "mainstreaming" the economics of biodiversity contending that radical change in perspectives is needed.

  • 6.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Green economics: An introduction to theory, policy and practice2009In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 69, no 1, p. 206-206Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 7.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Issues of paradigm and ideology in sustainability assessment2007In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 60, no 3, p. 613-626Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Does the challenge of sustainable development (SD) have implications for our approches to decision-making and evaluation? Do we need specific Sustainability Assessment Models (SAMs) and if so; what are the options? In this article, interpretations of SD are discussed as well as the role of democracy in relation to decision-making at the societal level. Taking democracy seriously means that individuals are regarded as Political Economic Persons and organizations as Political Economic Organizations. Among approaches to decision-making, Positional Analysis, PA, is advocated as being compatible with normal imperatives of democracy and useful for Sustainability Assessment purposes. PA belongs to the disaggregated, ideologically open category. The article ends with a note on the relationships between ex ante and ex post evaluation. Are the same models useful or do we need other methods for ex post evaluation?

  • 8.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Neoclassical and institutional approaches to development and the environment1992In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 127-144Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Institutional economics is suggested as a more fruitful approach to environmental problems than the now dominant neoclassical paradigm. The historical background of institutionalism in the United States and Europe is given as well as th main characteristics of this approach, i.e. holism, emphasis on institutional arrangements, pattern modelling and emphasis on the political element of economics. Differences between neoclassical and institutional economics are elaborated with respect to the concept of economics (reductionist versus holistic), the approach to decision-making (aggregated versus highly disaggregated), and the view of social and institutional change (public choice versus actor-network approach).

  • 9.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Sustainability economics as a contested concept:  2011In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 70, no 6, p. 1019-1020Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainability economics as a concept is interpreted differently in different publications. Some authors look for a modification of mainstream neoclassical economics while the present author regards sustainability economics as part of a different and separate economics paradigm. 

  • 10.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology. Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering.
    Values, ideology and politics in ecological economics1999In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 28, no 2, p. 161-170Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Ecological economics is built on a value-commitment to study environmental issues and to contribute constructively to a more sustainable development path. However, many ecological economists still hesitate, it appears, to depart too much from other scholars by openly addressing issues of value and ideology. In this essay, the role of the scholar's orientation with respect to values and ideology is addressed. It is observed that not only scholars but also actors in society are guided by their 'ideological orientation'. This leads to the idea that some of the weaknesses of Economic Man and 'profit maximizing firm' assumptions can be mitigated by introducing a Political Economic Person and a Political Economic Organization.

  • 11.
    Söderbaum, Peter
    Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Industrial Economics and Organisation.
    Varieties of ecological economics: Do we need a more open and radical version of ecological economics?2015In: Ecological Economics, ISSN 0921-8009, E-ISSN 1873-6106, Vol. 119, p. 420-423, article id ECOLEC5121Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Should we aim at a single economics paradigm for all purposes or is it wise to accept the existence of more than one theoretical perspective? Is one ecological economics perspective enough or should we encourage competing paradigms as part of a pluralist perspective? Moritz Remig  expresses his preferences for 'mainstreaming' ecological economics in the January 2015 issue of Ecological Economics, suggesting that alternative perspectives and alternative terminologies, such as "sustainability economics", lead to confusion. In this reply I argue that there is no value-free or value-neutral ecological economics and that therefore limiting economics or ecological economics to one paradigm is not compatible with democracy. We have to live with some complexity when dealing with sustainability issues and should not avoid issues of paradigm, ideology and political-economic system.

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