Global Environmental Commons and the Need for Ethics

in

Zsolt Boda:

Global Environmental Commons and the Need for Ethics*

"An important, although very controversial, development has occurred in the past decade about how to manage the global environmental commons. According to this approach, the “tragedy of the global commons” should be avoided through the extensive use of market-based instruments, and the privatisation of the commons. This paper examines some aspects of this phenomenon and argues that an economics approach to the commons should be subordinated to a genuinely ethical one. In this approach the concept of the commons does not signify simply an area where the coordination mechanism of the market is somehow imperfect, but have an intrinsically normative content."

*Published in Society and Economy, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2003, pp.213-224.

Contents:

Creating markets for the global commons

Market environmentalism

The economic concept of the commons

Global governance and the need for ethics

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