Marxism and Ecological Economics

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Published Nov 2016
ISBN: 9789004148109

Toward a Red and Green Political Economy

Paul Burkett, Indiana State University, Terre Haute

This book undertakes the first general assessment of ecological economics from a Marxist point of view, and shows how Marxist political economy can make a substantial contribution to ecological economics. The analysis is developed in terms of four basic issues: (1) nature and economic value; (2) the treatment of nature as capital; (3) the significance of the entropy law for economic systems; (4) the concept of sustainable development. In each case, it is shown that Marxism can help ecological economics fulfill its commitments to multi-disciplinarity, methodological pluralism, and historical openness. In this way, a foundation is constructed for a substantive dialogue between Marxists and ecological economists.

Biographical note

Paul Burkett, Ph.D. (1984) in Economics, Syracuse University, is Professor of Economics at Indiana State University, Terre Haute. His publications on Marxism and ecology include Marx and Nature: A Red and Green Perspective (St. Martin’s Press, 1999) and many articles in scholarly journals.


Ecological economists interested in alternative methodologies, all Marxists interested in ecology, and many other environmentally concerned social scientists (academic libraries, specialists, and students).

Table of contents


1. The Value Problem in Ecological Economics: Lessons from the Physiocrats and Marx
2. Values in Ecological Value Analysis: What Should We Be Learning from Contingent Valuation Studies?
3. Natural Capital in Ecological Economics
4. Marxism and the Resistance to Natural Capital
5. Entropy in Ecologigal Economics: A Marxist Intervention
6. Energy, Entropy and Classical Marxism: Debunking the Podolinsky Myth
7. Power Inequality and the Environment
8. Straffian Models of Ecological Conflict and Crisis
9. Towards a Marxist Approach to Ecological Conflicts and Crisis
10. Marxism, Ecological Economics, and Sustainable Human Development