FROM CLASSICAL TO CONTEMPORARY ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS THEORY
Global social and economic trends are marked by the increasing imbalance between production and consumption activities on one side, and the conditions of environment on the other. The consequences of such imbalance are numerous, so the environment, from the development aspect, is increasingly becoming a limiting factor. At the same time, just for this reason, economic theory assigns growing importance to research of the interrelationships between economics and the overall ecosystem. The greatest contribution of such research is within the framework of ecological economics, a relatively young scientific discipline. The purpose of the research was to present the basic features of the theoretical approaches which explain the importance of the environment from the aspect of economics as a science, and the management of specific ecological and economic policies. Using the relevant analytical approach, the authors highlighted the basic conceptual features of ecological economics at various stages of its development, and specifically explored the distinction between the starting points of environmental and ecological economics theory. The research results point to a successful affirmation of ecological economics as a scientific field, but at the same time to its scientific vulnerability, especially from the aspect of the existing methodological instrument. The authors conclude that in spite of the existing weaknesses, research in the field of ecological economics represents a particular challenge, especially in terms of contemporary global problems such as unequal food distribution, lack of some sources of energy, environmental pollution and degradation, or waste management.
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