Title: Environmental policy in a complex world

Authors: Friedrich Hinterberger, Fred Luks, Marcus Stewen, Jan van der Straaten

Addresses: Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI), Vienna, Austria. Fernfachhochschule Hamburg, Germany. Johannes Gutenberg-University, Department of Law and Economics, D-55099 Mainz, Germany, European Centre for Nature Conservation, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Abstract: Most concepts of environmental policy do not consider adequately the complexity of nature and society. While neoclassical economics seems to fall into the trap of steering illusion, evolutionary economic concepts that consider societal complexity are too optimistic about the favours of laissez-faire. A coevolutionary perspective may combine both it may consider the complexity of societal processes as well as environmental constraints. As an example for a coevolutionary strategy, the dematerialisation approach illustrates how environmental policy can handle the two problems of complexity.

Keywords: coevolution; complexity; economic policy; environmental policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2000.001536

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2000 Vol.3 No.3, pp.276-296

Available online: 14 Dec 2003 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article