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Sanna Stålhammar

Visiting researcher

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Ecosystem services between integration and economics imperialism

Author

  • Henrik Thorén
  • Sanna Stålhammar

Summary, in English

Here, we explore the interdisciplinary merits of the ecosystem services concept by recruiting the notion of economics imperialism. We identify four different ways in which interdisciplinary concepts can fail as interdisciplinary concepts, three of which are associated with imperialism. First, interdisciplinary concepts can fail to be integrative, typically by being overtly flexible or vague. The remaining three ways, which typically mark imperialist infringements, are: failure to achieve ontological unification, failure to maintain or accommodate a plurality of accounts when it is suitable, and the obfuscation of social or ethical values. We analyze some of the critiques that have been raised with respect to the ecosystem services concept as a case of economics imperialism. We conclude by discussing the scope and limits of the concept more broadly and what those mean for an interdisciplinary ecosystem services science going forward.

Department/s

  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
  • Theoretical Philosophy
  • BECC - Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year

2018

Language

English

Publication/Series

Ecology and Society

Volume

23

Issue

4

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

The Resilience Alliance

Topic

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • Philosophy
  • Environmental Sciences

Keywords

  • ecosystem services
  • scientific imperialism
  • integration
  • interdisciplinarity

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1708-3087