Sustainable Wellbeing Futures


Sustainable Wellbeing Futures

A Research and Action Agenda for Ecological Economics

9781789900941 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Robert Costanza, Professor and VC’s Chair in Public Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Australia, Jon D. Erickson, Blittersdorf Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont, Joshua Farley, Professor, Community Development and Applied Economics, Gund Institute for Environment, University of Vermont, US and Ida Kubiszewski, Associate Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Australia
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78990 094 1 Extent: 480 pp
Ecological economics can help create the future that most people want – a future that is prosperous, just, equitable and sustainable. This forward-thinking book lays out an alternative approach that places the sustainable wellbeing of humans and the rest of nature as the overarching goal. Each of the book’s chapters, written by a diverse collection of scholars and practitioners, outlines a research and action agenda for how this future can look and possible actions for its realisation.

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Critical Acclaim
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Climate disruption, overpopulation, biodiversity loss, the threats of financial collapse, large-scale damage to our natural and social environments and eroding democracy are all becoming critically important concerns. The editors of this timely book assert that these problems are not separate, but all stem from our overreliance on an out-dated approach to economics that puts growth of production and consumption above all else.

Ecological economics can help create the future that most people want – a future that is prosperous, just, equitable and sustainable. This forward-thinking book lays out an alternative approach that places the sustainable wellbeing of humans and the rest of nature as the overarching goal. Each of the book’s chapters, written by a diverse collection of scholars and practitioners, outlines a research and action agenda for how this future can look and possible actions for its realization.

Sustainable Wellbeing Futures will be of value to academics and students researching environmental and ecological economics, as well as individuals interested in gaining a greater understanding of the concept of a wellbeing future and how we might act to achieve it.
Critical Acclaim
‘There is no way to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without a systemic approach to economic, environmental and social policies. This is why this is one of the most comprehensive, advanced and useful books I have ever seen to address the huge challenges humanity faces in the XXI Century. This book is a “must” for policy makers and analysts, for academic and applied economists and statisticians, as well as for modellers to provide innovative answers to questions coming from the unsustainability of our socio-economic systems.’
– Enrico Giovannini, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy

''Ecological Economics has given us the vision of an economy in service to sustainable wellbeing for over three decades. This essential volume combines the best ideas from the leaders in the field with the thinking of young emerging scholars to set forth the research and action needed to make a finer future a reality.''
– Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism Solutions, US

‘A world of short term dominance can hardly survive. Ecological Economics is meant to include the long term. This new book has a refreshing inclination to combine research and action. Read it – and act accordingly!’
– Ernst von Weizsäcker, Honorary President of the Club of Rome

''This book beautifully demonstrates that ecological economics, now grown beyond its teenage years, has plenty more to say about human wellbeing and sustainability than the obsolete bodies of knowledge it is replacing. By recognizing our ecological context, it becomes possible to find solutions that serve human wellbeing that can last. This book is the living proof that ecological economics has the power to guide us to a better future.''
– Mathis Wackernagel, Global Footprint Network

‘The challenges facing our world have never been more urgent. Sustainable Wellbeing Futures advances the transdisciplinary field of ecological economics while delivering timely and much-needed priorities for actionable research to enable systemic changes toward sustainability.’
– Amy Luers, Future Earth

‘Few scientists assemble teams of very creative thinkers to tackle the vital future of the global environment as well as Robert Constanza and his close colleagues. They have shaped the discussions of the value of nature in the past, influencing so many decisions today. This new book will surely continue this tradition of influence and practical action.’
– Stuart Pimm, Duke University, US

‘Costanza, Erickson, Farley and Kubiszewski have done a great service in collecting and integrating the thinking of some 70 scholars in ecological economics, both pioneers and newcomers, into a single book that charts a clear and exciting path for future research and policy in this most important and urgent field of study. Highly recommended!’
– Herman Daly, University of Maryland, College Park, US

‘This is a necessary book, a compendium of much of the thinking of the past few decades about how to keep the planet on something like an even keel. Students and practitioners will find themselves referring to it regularly.’
– Bill McKibben, Middlebury College, US
Contributors: M. Abrams, J. Adams, G. Alperovitz, J. Ament, D. Baker, L. Barbeiri, D. Barmes, S. Bliss, R. Boumans, K. Brevik, P.G. Brown, M. Burke, C. Carmichael, J.C. Castilla-Rho, R. Costanza, A. Damiano, T. Dietz, E.M.B. Doran, B. Dube, M. Egler, J.D. Erickson, S.C. Farber, J. Farley, L. Fioramonti, M.-J.V. Fox, K. Gallagher, T. Gladkikh, R.K. Gould, J. Gourevitch, J. Gowdy, C. Guay-Boutet, M. Hensher, R.B. Howarth, T. Jackson, X. Ji, D.C. Kenny, K. Kish, C. Koliba, J. Kolodinsky, N. Kosoy, I. Kubiszewski, M.T. Lucas, V.A. Luzadis, D. Markowitz, S. Marshall, J. McGlade, M. Moser, S. O’Hara, C. Orr, P. Perez, K. Pickett, S. Posner, S. Quilley, T.H. Ricketts, B. Schaefer Caniglia, A.B. Schneider, D. Spethmann, R. Svartzman, S. Telle, K. Trebeck, J. Valcour, M. Venkatesan, P.A. Victor, A. Voinov, S. Wallis, R. Wilkinson, G. Yahya Haage, Y. Yoshida, E. Zencey, A. Zia

Foreword by Jacqueline McGlade xii
Preface xv
In memoriam: Eric Zencey 1953–2019 xvii

1 Introduction: what is ecological economics and why do we need it now more
than ever 1
Robert Costanza, Jon D. Erickson, Joshua Farley, and Ida Kubiszewski

2 Creating positive futures for humanity on earth 17
Robert Costanza, Elizabeth M. B. Doran, Tatiana Gladkikh, Ida Kubiszewski,
Valerie A. Luzadis, and Eric Zencey
3 Work, labour, and regenerative production 27
Kaitlin Kish and Stephen Quilley
4 The role of technology in achieving the future we want 45
Stewart Wallis, Lindsay Barbieri, Alice Damiano, and Matthew Burke
5 Ecological economics in China: from origins, to inertia, to rejuvenation 61
Xi Ji
6 Taking evolution seriously: the role of ecological economics in escaping the
Anthropocene and reaching for the Ecozoic 90
Peter G. Brown and John Gowdy

7 Frameworks and systems thinking for measuring and achieving sustainable
wellbeing 103
Elizabeth M. B. Doran, Lindsay Barbieri, Ida Kubiszewski, Kate Pickett,
Thomas Dietz, Michael Abrams, Richard Wilkinson, Robert Costanza,
Stephen C. Farber, and Jeannine Valcour
8 How ecosystem services research can advance ecological economics principles 127
Rachelle K. Gould, Taylor H. Ricketts, Richard B. Howarth, Svenja Telle,
Tatiana Gladkikh, Stephen Posner, Jesse Gourevitch, and Yuki Yoshida
9 Wellbeing in the more-than-human world 151
Kristian Brevik, John Adams, Benjamin Dube, Lindsay Barbieri, and
Gabriel Yahya Haage
10 From measurement to application: wellbeing indicators in socio-ecological
systems 167
Kati Gallagher, Michael Moser, Mairi-Jane V. Fox, and Jane Kolodinsky
11 The struggle for equality and sustainability 179
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett
12 Human health and ecological economics 188
Martin Hensher

13 Cultural evolution, multi-level selection, and institutions for cooperation 210
Joshua Farley, John Gowdy, and Stephen Marshall
14 Moral and ethical foundations for ecological economics 229
Dan Spethmann and Valerie A. Luzadis
15 Governing for sustainable development: rethinking governance and
ecological economics 243
Christopher Koliba, Megan Egler, and Stephen Posner
16 Money, interest rates and accumulation on a finite planet: revisiting the
‘monetary growth imperative’ through institutionalist approaches 266
Romain Svartzman, Joseph Ament, David Barmes, Jon D. Erickson,
Joshua Farley, Charles Guay-Boutet, and Nicolas Kosoy
17 The nature and role of business in an ecological economy 284
Mairi-Jane V. Fox, Abigail B. Schneider, Marilyn T. Lucas, and
Beth Schaefer Caniglia
18 Principles of stakeholder engagement for ecological economics 300
Madhavi Venkatesan, Jon D. Erickson, and Christine Carmichael

19 Integrated ecological economic modeling: what is it good for? 316
Alexey Voinov, Pascal Perez, Juan Carlos Castilla-Rho, and Daniel C. Kenny
20 Designing participatory decision support systems: towards meta-decision
making analytics in the next generation of ecological economics 342
Asim Zia and Roel Boumans
21 A research agenda for ecological macroeconomics 357
Peter A. Victor and Tim Jackson

22 Local economies: leading the way to an ecological economy 374
Sabine O’Hara and Daniel Baker
23 Systemic design and systemic crisis in the United States: the pluralist
Commonwealth 386
Gar Alperovitz and Joseph Ament
24 Creating a Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) to motivate and facilitate
the transition 399
Robert Costanza, Lorenzo Fioramonti, Ida Kubiszewski, Deborah Markowitz,
Christopher Orr, Katherine Trebeck, and Stewart Wallis

25 Ecological economic goals from emerging scholars 409
Kaitlin Kish and Sam Bliss
26 Assessing ecological economics at 30: results from a survey of ISEE members 427
Benjamin Dube

Index 445
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