Ecological Economics from the Ground Up
Routledge – 2012 – 568 pages
Ecological Economics from the Ground Up takes a unique and much-needed bottom-up approach to teaching ecological economics and political ecology, using case studies that focus on a wide range of internationally relevant topics, to teach the principles, concepts, methods and tools of these fields, which are seen as increasingly important in the context of the current triple social, economic and environmental crisis.
This book provides learning materials which are grounded in the experience of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), with case studies chosen by CSOs and developed collaboratively with leading ecological economists. The case studies come from Europe, India, Latin America, and Africa, and are presented thematically along three lines: 1) social metabolism and accounting methods, 2) institutions and participation, and 3) valuation and environmental policy tools. Core tools, concepts and glossary terms are embedded in topics chosen as a matter of urgency by activist organizations, related to mining and fossil fuel extraction, integrated transport infrastructure development, deforestation and agro-fuel production, sustainable tourism, waste management, wetlands and water management, payments for ecosystem services, natural disasters and hazards, and corporate accountability.
Ecological Economics from the Ground Up has been designed to be an accessible learning aid for students of the sustainability sciences and for those CSOs that have recognised the value that ecological economics and political ecology tools and methods hold for their research and advocacy work.
'The scope and range of ideas dealt with in Ecological Economics from the Ground Up are of a gigantic scale. This book represents one serious effort by an international group of researchers, under the direction of one of the finest ecological economists of our time - Professor Joan Martínez-Alier, to enrich and validate the approaches, frameworks and methods of ecological economics. This has been done in a true tradition of interdisciplinarity, with the application of a range of innovative approaches, from social metabolic accounting to valuation to participation. This book represents a truly remarkable effort and will be a delight to read for practitioners in and outside of academic life.'
Pushpam Kumar, Chief Economist, UNEP
'Ecological Economics from the Ground Up is just what is needed for the times: down-to-earth documentation of how to fight bad economics with good economics, how to fight economic interests with an economics that empowers the public's interest in social justice and environmental sustainability. This book provides what is needed now: documentation of successful and on-going efforts from the bottom up to reshape the future along with a glossary of key concepts that challenge business as usual.'
Richard Norgaard, University of California, USA
'In this pioneering example of what the European Commission calls ‘co-operative research’, the authors have genuinely succeeded in articulating a diversity of often-conflicting disciplinary and societal perspectives around pressing social and environmental policy challenges around the world.
[…] A coherent set of central ideas and approaches are explored through an impressive array of empirical case studies. These span a wide range of contrasting industrial sectors and socio-ecological contexts, extending across both northern and southern global settings. The emphasis throughout is on international, environmental and institutional interconnections. The breadth of analysis also extends beyond the often-narrow disciplinary domains, to encompass often-neglected dimensions of culture and power, as well as economic, biophysical and technological dynamics.
[…] The final product should find an enthusiastic readership among policy makers, lobbyists, activists and environmental managers in business, in addition to academic researchers in the range of disciplines addressed: economics and political science, as well as various areas of environmental science and policy analysis.'
Andrew Stirling, University of Sussex, UK
Preface Introduction Part I: Social Metabolism 1. Aid, Social Metabolism and Social Conflict in the Nicobar Islands 2. The Mining Enclave of the Cordillera del Condor 3. The Manta-Manaus Project 4. High Speed Transport Infrastructure in Italy 5. Life and livelihood in Kenya’s Tana Delta 6. South Africa’s Minerals-Energy Complex Part II: Participation and Institutions 7. Local Governance and Environment Investments in Hiware Bazar, India 8. Participatory Forest Management in Mendha Lekha, India 9. Forestry and Communities in Cameroon 10. The Waste Crisis in Campania, Italy 11. The Sedentarization of Tibetan Nomads Part III: Valuation and Environmental Policy 12. Nautical Tourism Development in the Lastovo Islands Nature Park 13. Local Communities and Management of the Djerdap Protected Area in Serbia 14. Payments for Ecosystem Services in India from the Bottom-Up 15. The Potential of Redd and Legal Reserve Compensation in Mato Grosso, Brazil 16. Environmental Justice and Ecological Debt in Belgium 17. Multidimensional valuation for socio-ecological conflict analysis in Costa Rica 18. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity 19. Conclusion
Hali Healy is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at King’s College, London, United Kingdom. She also coordinates an online course in Ecological Economics and Political Ecology for Environmental Justice Organizations.
Joan Martínez-Alier is Professor of Economics and Economic History at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. He is also a founding member and past president of the International Society for Ecological Economics.
Leah Temper is a researcher in Environmental History and Ecological Economics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and a freelance environmental journalist and video artist.
Mariana Walter is a researcher and PhD candidate at ICTA, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Her thesis addresses mining conflicts in Latin America.
Julien-François Gerber is Visiting Fellow at the Department of Economics, Harvard University, USA. He is interested in plantation studies, agrarian change, political ecology, and institutional and ecological economics.