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Environmental Values

Operationalising Strong Sustainability: Definitions, Methodologies and Outcomes

Begüm Özkaynak, Pat Devine and Dan Rigby

Environmental Values 13(2004): 279-303. doi: 10.3197/096327104323312699

While acknowledging the absence of a single definition or theory of sustainability, this paper argues that a discussion of sustainability which refers only to definitions is pointless without an understanding of how the definitions are operationalised. In this context, the paper considers the operationalisation of strong sustainability.

The definitions and operationalisation of strong sustainability most closely associated with (i) neoclassical environmental economics and (ii) ecological economics are discussed and compared. This analysis raises questions about the extent to which ecological economics has been able to influence real-world decisions and policy. The paper ends by considering whether the economic and political power structure taken as given by ecological economics is compatible with its policy perspective.

KEYWORDS: Strong sustainability, ecological economics, critical natural capital

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Sustainability and Environmental Valuation M.S. Common, R.K. Blamey and T.W. Norton

Ethics and Values in Environmental Policy: The Said and the UNCED Paul P. Craig, Harold Glasser and Willett Kempton

Environmental Economics, Ecological Economics and the Concept of Sustainable Development. Giuseppe Munda

Green Economics. David Pearce

The Development of Environmental Thinking in Economics. Clive L. Spash

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles:

Non-Market Coordination: Towards an Ecological Response to Austrian Economics. Dan Greenwood

Value Theory in Ecological Economics: The Contribution of a Political Economy of Wealth. Ali Douai

Sharing the Earth: Sustainability and the Currency of Inter-Generational Environmental Justice. Allen Habib

This article is available online (PDF format) from Ingenta Journals. Access is free if your institution subscribes to Environmental Values. Reprints of this article can be ordered from ingenta or the British Library

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