Environment and sustainability

Many central concerns of social economics, such as embeddedness, plural values and social justice, are highly pertinent to environment and sustainability. Somewhat paradoxically, there has been relatively little research on environment and sustainability in the core social-economics research community. But this is not to say that social-economics research on the environment and sustainability does not exist. This research has just been mostly carried out by scholars identifying themselves with ecological economics or political ecology. Our chapter sets this scholarship in its broader context and examines in some detail some of its core research strands. In what follows, we will first briefly discuss how we understand social economics, how it has related to the emerging agenda of research on the environment, and how that research has become institutionalized. We will then examine in somewhat greater detail two areas of environmental research where social economics plays a significant role: the research on institutional sources of environmental problems; and the research on monetary valuation and environmental decision making. We conclude the chapter with a brief assessment of the likely future agenda for social-economic research on environment and sustainability.

Paavola J; Røpke I (2015), In: Davies JB; Dolfsma W (Ed) The Elgar Companion to Social Economics, Edward Elgar, pp.15-32.