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Institutions and Environmental Sustainability Reflections on Ecological Economics

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Prakash, Aseem
Conference: Mini-Conference of the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
Location: Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: April 30-May 2
Date: 1994
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5676
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Subject(s): sustainability
Abstract: "Humans have increasingly become the dominant specie on this planet and there is a breakdown of balance-of-power amongst the various species and generation. This dominance is critically dependent on an energy intensive life style which entails an excess demand on nature for both the supply of low entropy structures as well as for the recycling of the high entropy externalities. This is the crux of the ecological crisis which can be traced to how relationships in nature have evolved and been ordered. Four levels of ordering relationships in nature (Moral, Ecological, Social, and Physical) and how the various inter-specie and intra-human relations may evolve (Spontaneous, Negotiated, and Imposed) are identified. The moral ordering and the ecological ordering of neo-classical and new-institutional economics are highlighted and their implication for environmental sustainability is sketched. Ecological economics is examined as an alternative way of viewing how the world operates. The complexities involved in the pursuit of three macro goals of efficiency, equity, and sustainability are discussed. Finally, the Rawlsian 'veil of ignorance' is proposed as the guiding principle to construct inter-specie and inter-generation relationships."

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