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Misplaced Concreteness and Concrete Places: Critical Analyses of Divergent Discourses on Sustainability

Borgström Hansson, Carina LU (2003) In Lund studies in human ecology
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Denna avhandling bygger på en kritisk granskning av spänningen mellan etablerade och alternativa perspektiv på hållbarhetsproblematiken, med utgångspunkt i fyra olika diskurser: miljöekonomi, ekologisk ekonomi, adaptive management och bioregionalism. De fyra diskurserna representerar olika försök att i tilltagande grad utmana etablerade, modernistiska perspektiv på socio-ekologiska relationer. De olika världsbilder och identiteter som de två ytterligheterna i detta spektrum kan förknippas med undersöks utifrån intervjuer med miljöekonomer och bioregionalister i Kalifornien. Avhandlingen börjar med en kritisk analys av miljöekonomins bas i ett s.k. svagt hållbarhetskriterium och miljöekonomernas... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Denna avhandling bygger på en kritisk granskning av spänningen mellan etablerade och alternativa perspektiv på hållbarhetsproblematiken, med utgångspunkt i fyra olika diskurser: miljöekonomi, ekologisk ekonomi, adaptive management och bioregionalism. De fyra diskurserna representerar olika försök att i tilltagande grad utmana etablerade, modernistiska perspektiv på socio-ekologiska relationer. De olika världsbilder och identiteter som de två ytterligheterna i detta spektrum kan förknippas med undersöks utifrån intervjuer med miljöekonomer och bioregionalister i Kalifornien. Avhandlingen börjar med en kritisk analys av miljöekonomins bas i ett s.k. svagt hållbarhetskriterium och miljöekonomernas försök att internalisera hållbarhetsproblematiken i ekonomisk teori. Den fortsätter med att kontrastera dessa försök mot de ekologiska ekonomernas alternativa diskurs, med särskild vikt lagd vid den ekologiska fotavtrycksanalysen som utgår från ett starkt hållbarhetskriterium. Studien avslöjar hur de ekologiska ekonomernas försök att introducera alternativa modeller och problemställningar i det offentliga samtalet ofta motverkas av eller neutraliseras i den etablerade utvecklingsdiskursen. Avhandlingen fördjupar sig därefter i ett mer radikalt alternativ till den etablerade diskursen, exemplifierat av de konkreta och platsbaserade aktiviteter som utförs av s.k. "bioregionalister" i den isolerade Mattoledalen i norra Kalifornien. Den av bioregionalism inspirerade, men vetenskapligt etablerade management-inriktningen adaptive management analyseras också som ett alternativ till bioregionalisternas personliga engagemang. Avhandlingen diskuterar avslutningsvis vilken roll abstrakta och konkreta principer och referenspunkter kan spela i arbetet för ekologisk hållbarhet och miljörättvisa. (Less)
Abstract
This dissertation critically examines the tension between mainstream and counterpoint perspectives on sustainability on the basis of analyses of four approaches to this issue: environmental economics, ecological economics, adaptive management, and bioregionalism, which are presented as successive attempts to challenge mainstream, modernist perspectives on socio-ecological relationships. The different worldviews and identity constructions associated with the two extremes in this spectrum of approaches are examined on the basis of interviews with environmental economists and bioregionalists in California. The thesis begins by critically analyzing the efforts by environmental economists to internalize sustainability issues into economic... (More)
This dissertation critically examines the tension between mainstream and counterpoint perspectives on sustainability on the basis of analyses of four approaches to this issue: environmental economics, ecological economics, adaptive management, and bioregionalism, which are presented as successive attempts to challenge mainstream, modernist perspectives on socio-ecological relationships. The different worldviews and identity constructions associated with the two extremes in this spectrum of approaches are examined on the basis of interviews with environmental economists and bioregionalists in California. The thesis begins by critically analyzing the efforts by environmental economists to internalize sustainability issues into economic theory, building on a weak sustainability criterion. It proceeds with a presentation of the alternative academic approach of ecological economists, with special emphasis on Ecological Footprint Analysis, based on a strong sustainability criterion. The study reveals how the attempts of ecological economists to introduce alternative models and concerns into dominant arenas of the sustainability debate are resisted and sometimes co-opted by the modern discourse on development. It then investigates an extreme counterpoint to mainstream discourse as represented by the bioregional movement in the remote Mattole valley in northern California, which emphasizes the value of concrete, personal involvement. The bioregionally inspired but scientific approach of adaptive management is also discussed as a possible alternative or complement to this struggle. The concluding discussion focuses on the role of abstract versus concrete reference points in the struggle for socio-ecological sustainability and justice. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Prof. Dunlap, Riley, Åbo Akademi
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
econometrics, Economics, Mainstream and counterpoint, Discourse, Place, Adaptive management, Genuine savings, Ecological footprint, Ecological economics, Bioregionalism, Sustainability, Environmental economics, Human ecology, Misplaced concreteness, economic theory, economic systems, economic policy, Nationalekonomi, ekonometri, ekonomisk teori, ekonomiska system, ekonomisk politik
in
Lund studies in human ecology
pages
347 pages
publisher
Human Ecology Division, Lund University
defense location
Hörsal 128, St Algatan 4, Lund
defense date
2003-12-05 10:15
ISSN
1403-5022
ISBN
91-631-4610-X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
988acd98-c18e-4bed-9edf-9fbde186d759 (old id 21216)
date added to LUP
2007-05-28 14:12:16
date last changed
2018-05-29 11:14:08
@phdthesis{988acd98-c18e-4bed-9edf-9fbde186d759,
  abstract     = {This dissertation critically examines the tension between mainstream and counterpoint perspectives on sustainability on the basis of analyses of four approaches to this issue: environmental economics, ecological economics, adaptive management, and bioregionalism, which are presented as successive attempts to challenge mainstream, modernist perspectives on socio-ecological relationships. The different worldviews and identity constructions associated with the two extremes in this spectrum of approaches are examined on the basis of interviews with environmental economists and bioregionalists in California. The thesis begins by critically analyzing the efforts by environmental economists to internalize sustainability issues into economic theory, building on a weak sustainability criterion. It proceeds with a presentation of the alternative academic approach of ecological economists, with special emphasis on Ecological Footprint Analysis, based on a strong sustainability criterion. The study reveals how the attempts of ecological economists to introduce alternative models and concerns into dominant arenas of the sustainability debate are resisted and sometimes co-opted by the modern discourse on development. It then investigates an extreme counterpoint to mainstream discourse as represented by the bioregional movement in the remote Mattole valley in northern California, which emphasizes the value of concrete, personal involvement. The bioregionally inspired but scientific approach of adaptive management is also discussed as a possible alternative or complement to this struggle. The concluding discussion focuses on the role of abstract versus concrete reference points in the struggle for socio-ecological sustainability and justice.},
  author       = {Borgström Hansson, Carina},
  isbn         = {91-631-4610-X},
  issn         = {1403-5022},
  keyword      = {econometrics,Economics,Mainstream and counterpoint,Discourse,Place,Adaptive management,Genuine savings,Ecological footprint,Ecological economics,Bioregionalism,Sustainability,Environmental economics,Human ecology,Misplaced concreteness,economic theory,economic systems,economic policy,Nationalekonomi,ekonometri,ekonomisk teori,ekonomiska system,ekonomisk politik},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {347},
  publisher    = {Human Ecology Division, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund studies in human ecology},
  title        = {Misplaced Concreteness and Concrete Places: Critical Analyses of Divergent Discourses on Sustainability},
  year         = {2003},
}