The Poverty of Environmental Economics: Towards a New Research Agenda
The world is in the middle of a massive global financial crisis. However, the main policy science – economics – has failed to predict or adequately explain the crisis. Nonetheless, no real questioning of the fundamentals of economics has occurred.
This paper uses the Foucauldian concepts of discourse, power and discipline to both examine this lack of reflection, and to move towards an alternative Green political economy. The paper outlines an archaeology of economics to reveal the hidden ruptures within economics, and to detail how attempts to reconcile these schisms have rendered economic concepts nonsensical. Consequently it is unable to adequately consider issues of environment or poverty.
The paper then sketches possible components of an alternative political economy based on the concept of allocation. The paper shows how understanding the legal basis of economic transactions can help a model of a political economy based on market control and other traditional Green notions of de-centralization, the eradication of wasteful production and sustainability, and provides suggestions for transformative action.