1. Editorial

  • Freedom of Thought at the University and the limitations on Ecological Economics

2. News from ESEE and its members

  • Official results of ESEE Boards elections
  • Thanks to members

3. Other news

  • 18 PhD scholarships in Environmental Research
  • 20 study places and within this 10 Lichtenberg PhD scholarships to be awarded

4. Hot topic

  • No contribution this time

5. Events

  • 9th International Conference on Organizational Discourse: Crises, Corruption, Character and Change (Call for papers)
  • Energy and Environment Week 2010
  • International conference: Geothermal Energy and CO2 Storage: Synergy or competition?
  • Resilient Cities 2010 (Call for contributions)
  • High Level Conference "Growth in Transition" – discussion forum online
  • International conference on "Energy, Water & Climate Change in the Mediterranean & Middle East"
  • 2010 EAERE-FEEM-VIU European Summer School in Resource and Environmental Economics (Call for applications)
  • Second International Conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity
  • International Conference "Deltas in Times of Climate Change" (Call for abstracts)
  • Eco-economic Challenges of the 21st Century
  • IPA 2010 - Call for papers
  • 15th Coalition Theory Network Workshop

6. Job openings

  • Lectureship/Senior Lectureship in Environmental Economics at University of Manchester

7. Publications

  • Ecological Modelling: An Introduction
  • Series: Ecological Economics and Human Well-being

1. Editorial:

Freedom of Thought at the University and the limitations on Ecological Economics
by Esther Velázquez

There are many interesting topics that deserve discussion in these pages: the Nobel Prize granted to Elinor Ostrom, the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit and the protest led by the African countries, the much-debated present economic crisis... However, I would like to take advantage of this space to share a reflection that has been worrying me for a long time now and that is freedom of thought at the University and the limitations on Ecological Economics.

Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset said, already in the 1930s, that "pedantry and lack of reflection are the main agents of the vice of "scientism" suffered by the university" (1930, 58). In fact, if we circumscribe this statement to the faculties and departments of Economics, I would dare to declare that in most of them the atmosphere is such that it restricts reflection and imposes orthodoxy on the development of knowledge. This orthodoxy defines Economics as a closed system in which the object of study is reduced to producible goods that can be measured in monetary terms, disregarding the environment in which production and consumption processes take place (Naredo, 1987).

Although the isolated condition of academic Economics was already pointed out by Leontief in 1982, the academic community continues to ignore other ways of understanding and making Economics that are not strictly orthodox. Therefore, little margin is left for careful reflection on a reality that is further more complex than the one reflected by the most elaborated mathematical model. Academic curricula in most Economics departments are based on this allegedly undisputed concept of what Economics is, which is thus transmitted to the students, limiting their critical thinking and capacity to understand a multidimensional reality.

The University must take care of freedom of thought and knowledge creation. It is nothing but paradoxical that, being the University a thought production institution, freedom of thought should be most limited and punished in it. What are the reasons for so grotesque a paradox? Could it be the fear of those who are only able to walk along the path of orthodoxy? Or the fear of those who have borrowed their reasonings from others? Of those who prefer to lose themselves in the grey and dull mass of "positivism" and "mathematization"? Or rather of those who prefer not to see the "evidence"?

Against orthodox Economics and its limitations on thought and criticism, Ecological Economics offers a transdisciplinary approach that aims to understand the complex world in which we live. Ecological Economics moves forward and research supporting this approach is published in scientific journals of high academic prestige. However, as Spasch says (2009) it is important to define the ideological and methodological boundaries of Ecological Economics having in mind that "Ecological Economics, as a social science engaging with the natural science, is a heterodox school of modern political economy".

In addition to this effort that is made to clearly delimit the objective of Ecological Economics and to determine which works belong or not within this new paradigm, there is, beyond research, another aspect that urgently demands our consideration, and that is teaching. It is important that Ecological Economics experts are able to elaborate and propose university degree and postgraduate curricula for this discipline. This rarely happens, and it is not because there are no valuable professors perfectly capable of doing it, but because orthodoxy prevails from above preventing the students from being introduced to a "discipline" that, due to its "transdisciplinarity", escapes the tight restrictions imposed by traditional economic conventions and dilutes the power that the holders of orthodoxy believe they have.

For all these reasons, it is important that institutions such as the International and Regional Ecological Economics Associations solidly pursue along the way opened before us by free-thinkers who dared to look at what was evident. Ecological Economics Associations are making a great effort to understand Economics differently and their members show it in the articles they publish in academic journals and through their teaching in summer schools and others courses. Nevertheless, it would be advisable that these Associations tried to, little by little, influence the official university degree and postgraduate curricula. It would mean making a step further towards promoting among our students the freedom of thought and critical spirit presently lacking in orthodox Economics. "Will we at the faculties of Economics start to seriously take care of these relevant questions (adopting the Ecological Economics paradigm) or will we stay in the academic limbo controlled by those who believe that Economics is just 'some other thing'?" (Aguilera, 2009).


Aguilera Klink, F. 2009. "Una nota sobre la Nobel de Economía Elinor Ostrom". Revista Economía Crítica 8: 4-7.

Leontief, W. 1998. "Economía Académica". Archipiélago, 33.

Naredo, J.M. 1987. La economía en evolución. Historia y perspectivas de las categorías básicas del pensamiento económico. Ministerio de Economía y Hacienda. Secretaría de Estado y Comercio. Siglo XXI.

Ortega y Gasset, J. 1997. Misión de la Universidad, Revista de Occidente, Alianza Editorial, Madrid.

Spasch, C.L. 2009. Social Ecological Economics. CSIRO Working Papers Series 2009-08.


2. News from ESEE and its members:

Official results of ESEE Boards elections

The result of the last election for the board is now official. 68 members voted.

The results are:

Sigrid Stagl
65 votes
Vice Presidents (two positions):
Tatiana Kluvankova-Oravska 37 votes
Marina Fischer-Kowalski
47 votes
Elected Board Members:
Janne Hukkinen 42 votes
Irene Ring 39 votes
Giorgos Kallis 39 votes
Ines Omann 37 votes
Klaus Kubeczko 35 votes (secretary)
Begum Ozkaynak 35 votes
Unai Pascual
29 votes
Not elected:
Mikael Skou Andersen 28 votes
Andreas Thiel 24 votes
Esteve Corbera
23 votes

Congratulations to all elected members of the new board and all good luck with their important work!

Sincere thanks are given to all ESEE members for the support they have given to the present board. The new board will officially start its period from January 1 - 2010.

Thanks to members

Dear members of ESEE,

This is my last note to you as the president of ESEE. From January 1, 2010 the new board takes over with Sigrid Stagl as the new 'head of the crew'. I would first of all wish her and the rest of the new board good luck with their important work. I am very happy to note that we were able to fill all the 10 post open for election. While it was not possible even this time to get any compe-tition over the posts as president and vice-presidents, you had many to choose between for the 7 vacant board posts. In the end we have a good mixture of 'old' and 'new' blood. I see the election as yet another proof that ESEE is a vibrant society.

This year ends a period of almost 10 years with the ESEE board – that is, 6+ years as vice president and 3+ years as president. It has been a great time. Certainly, I would have wanted us to have come even longer. I think still that we accomplished a reasonable amount of activities. Certainly, there might be energy out there that we have not been able to release. If so, the future comes with new options. Contact the new board and put forward your ideas. The distance is and should be short!

Running an organization is not least to get all the 'standard procedures' to work well. This goes especially for conferences and for the Newsletter. Here we have in particular relied on the work of Sigrid Stagl and Ines Omann and her team at SERI. I would also thank Felix Rauschmayer and Andrej Udovc and their teams for organizing ESEE 2007 and 2009 conferences. Moreover Europe is responsible for making the ISEE 2010 conference. Here three different teams competed in the end with the German group under the leadership of Bernd Siebenhüner as winners.

When I started as president, I emphasized two things as especially important new actions: a) to establish a system of country contacts and b) to get a summer school going. The first issue was very well taken care of by Jouni Paavola as head of the Fund Raising & Membership committee. The summer school was established and run with the help of Joan Martinez-Alier, Tatiana Kluvankova-Oravska, Paula Antunes and Sigrid Stagl. It was a very demanding endeavor, but I think it worked really well. I think it was important for strengthening the relationship between the ESEE and young researchers interested in the field.

We had, for a while, discussed in the board to develop a new journal. I never dared make that an aim for the period, as I saw it to be unrealistic. When the option was offered to be part of the creation of 'Environmental Policy and Management (EPG)', the board did not hesitate to take on the opportunity, though. As the journal had a history before EPG, we did not start from scratch. I think that is a very important thing as the way to make it a strong journal is shorter. Nevertheless, there is some way to go, and I hope ESEE members will use the opportunity to publish good stuff there for the future.

While some snow actually has made the darkness here up north much more bearable the last 24 hours, I am still feeling a bit 'melancholic' when looking out from my home office. While there has been days with frustration - I must confess - I have all the time felt part of an important movement. It is a movement that has taken on some serious challenges and given it the right direction. I will continue to work with and for this movement as long as I am able to lift my hand or raise my voice. I hope you will do so, too. While our eyes are now turned at Copenhagen, we know that whatever the outcome is, the work is to be done in the years to come.

Thank you - both to my board colleagues and to the rest of the membership!

Arild Vatn
The soon to be 'past president' of ESEE


3. Other news:

18 PhD scholarships in Environmental Research

There are 18 PhD scholarships in Environmental Research at various institutes in Germany and in various disciplines (Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functions, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Technology, Management of Georesources, Environmental Modelling and Informatics, Environmental Health Research, Society and Environment, Water Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems) available.

More details can be found at

20 study places and within this 10 Lichtenberg PhD scholarships to be awarded

The Land of Lower Saxony sponsors excellent young PhD students in the course of their work towards a doctoral degree. These funds support the PhD programme "Biodiversity and Society - social dimensions of the protection and use of biological diversity" directed by the Göttingen Graduate School for Social Sciences (GGG), which will begin in April 2010 under the auspices of Prof. Dr. Rainer Marggraf from the Department for Agricultural Economics and Rural Development. Additionally, the programme is generously endowed with Lichtenberg scholarships (1.365 Euro per month plus 135 Euro material costs and if applicable allowances for families or studies abroad) for three years per scholar.

For more details please click here.


4. Hot topic:

No contribution this time.


5. Events:

9th International Conference on Organizational Discourse: Crises, Corruption, Character and Change (Call for papers)

Conference Theme

Contemporary organizing is confronted by seemingly endless 'crises' which are routinely projected through apocalyptic metaphor. Over coffee, we can skip-read through today's 'ecological catastrophe', the 'global financial meltdown' and 'the collapse of capitalism' before 'getting down to work'. All of which suggests that the distance between our discursive projections of the future and our inability to confront those possibilities has, perhaps, never been greater. In the post-whatever world we now inhabit, all appears to be simultaneously terminal and – bizarrely – transient.

Hence, the theme for the 9th Conference has a narrative focus on the discursive construction and re-construction of crises, character, corruption and change. At the meta-level, the conference theme is intended to elicit papers which address the discursive construction and re-construction of 'crises'. In our view, linguistic framing is a fundamental aspect of how ‘crises’ are being manufactured, constituted, projected, perceived and addressed (or finessed) at all levels of organization. Perhaps most problematic is how we have depicted the character of these various crises for their technical and global complexity invariably engenders over-simplified description. In parallel, we appear to be experiencing a persistent growth in corruption as manifest in the prevalence of institutional practices which directly undermined the presumed core processes of organizations and in our accounts of such seemingly corrupt behaviour which privilege rhetorical dissimulation. These issues raise further questions regarding the problems of continuity and the scope for change. What is the role for, and status of, discourse(s) in relation to change (or non-change). How does discourse shape 'character-formation' and possible responses to crises and corruption?

The conference will be held from 14th to 16th July, 2010 in Amsterdam.
The submission date is 15th January 2010. Notification of acceptance of papers will be given by 5th March 2010.

Abstracts (1000 words max) should be sent as an email attachment (saved as a Word document or a text file) to Tom Keenoy and Cliff Oswick at:

For full details see conference web page:

Energy and Environment Week 2010

The Energy and Environment Week 2010 (EEW 2010), co-located with "Energy from Biomass and Waste" and "Hydrogen Expo", will take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA from April 12 - 16, 2010.

For delegates, EEW 2010 is affordable like never before. This brings more prospective customers to your presentation and to your booth.


  • biomass heat and power, anaerobic digestion
  • biofuels
  • energy from waste
  • materials recovery from waste
  • hydrogen, fuel cells
  • energy efficiency

For a complete list of topics and to view the submission guidelines please visit:

International conference: Geothermal Energy and CO2 Storage: Synergy or competition?

The International Centre for Geothermal Research and the Centre for CO2 Storage at the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences would like to announce the International Conference on

"Geothermal Energy and CO2 Storage: Synergy or Competition?", 10 - 11 February 2010, hosted by the GFZ in Potsdam, Germany.

The aim of the conference is an objectification of the ongoing discussions in connection with the synergetic and competitive use of the underground. It will present the state-of-the-art of geothermal and CO2 technologies and identify the interactions and requirements for reliable reservoir management and monitoring.

During 2 days, the conference will feature keynote lectures and panel discussions with international experts including

Prof. Dr. Ottmar Edenhofer, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany
Dr. Jan Diederik van Wees, TNO-NITG, Netherlands
Dr. Subir K. Sanyal, GeothermEx, Inc., USA
Dr. Rick Chalaturnyk, University of Alberta, Canada
Dr. Tore A. Torp, StatoilHydro, Norway

The conference will represent an outstanding forum for the exchange of information and experience between experts from academia, industry and politics. In addition to technological and scientific questions the conference will highlight the challenges and impacts facing legal and political frameworks and strategies for an environment-friendly use of both technologies.

For more information please visit the conference website where general information and an outline of the conference agenda can be found.

Resilient Cities 2010 (Call for contributions)

ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and the City of Bonn invite you to join the Resilient Cities 2010 Congress, to be held on 28-30 May 2010 in Bonn, Germany and present your experiences!

Resilient Cities 2010 is the first edition of an annual global forum which will gather partners from all sectors for exchange, learning, networking, debating and policy making on approaches and solutions for climate change adaptation and resilience-building in cities and municipalities.

The call for contributions is now officially opened and panel proposals and paper submissions are welcomed! Share your experience and background and submit your contribution through the online form available on the congress website The deadline is 31 December 2009.

High Level Conference "Growth in Transition" – discussion forum online

The public discussion platform is designed to support the preparation of the international conference "Growth in Transition" which will take place on 28th and 29th of January 2010 in Vienna. The conference aims at debating approaches for high quality of life and sustainable prosperity for everyone. The conference programme is here available.

The conference initiators put the following topics (in the framework of ten thematic sessions) for discussion:

  • Money and the Financial System
  • Growth and Resource Use
  • Social Justice and Poverty
  • Macroeconomics for Sustainability
  • Quality of Life & Measurement of Prosperity
  • Work
  • Regional Aspects
  • Governance
  • Sustainable Production and Consumption
  • Sustainable Management

The case study of the Little's family - a representative upper middle class family - illustrate the ten thematic sessions and aim to stimulate the discussion. The outcomes of the discussion process of this forum will be summarized and embedded in the conference.

Everybody is invited to join the online discussion on the official website! We are looking forward to receiving your comments!

International conference on "Energy, Water & Climate Change in the Mediterranean & Middle East"

The Energy, Environment and Water Research Center of the Cyprus Institute ( is organizing and international conference on "Energy, Water & Climate Change in the Mediterranean & Middle East". It will be held from 11th to 15th of January 2010 in Hilton Cyprus Hotel in Nicosia, Cyprus.

This conference will bring together distinguished scientists, primary stakeholders, policy makers and high-level officials to discuss the present and the emerging challenges posed by climate change in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In particular, the conference aims to stimulate the discussion on adaptation strategies through new technologies and management methods to minimize adverse climate change impacts. There is a need for cooperative management and publically acceptable strategies in order to address the economical and societal consequences of climate change. The conference will contribute to these efforts by:

  • discussing the state-of-knowledge of climate change and its challenges
  • setting the stage for cooperative strategies to cope with climate change impacts
  • discussing energy and water policies and evaluating new concepts
  • considering sustainable strategies and effective decision making


Monday, 11 January 2010
Opening Ceremony

Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Climate change: are we facing a crisis?

Wednesday, 13 January 2010
Technological options and possible strategies
Conference dinner

Thursday, 14 January 2010
Policy options and international initiatives

Friday, 15 January 2010
Discussion, synthesis and conclusions

More informations can be found here.

2010 EAERE-FEEM-VIU European Summer School in Resource and Environmental Economics (Call for applications)

The European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE), the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and the Venice International University (VIU) are pleased to announce their annual European Summer School in Resource and Environmental Economics for postgraduate students. The 2010 Summer School will take place from the 4th to the 10th of July, at the VIU campus on the Island of San Servolo, in Venice, located just in front of St. Mark's Square. The theme of this Summer School is Climate Change Negotiations.
Pollution does not respect political boundaries. Classic examples of transboundary pollution include acid deposition, climate change, pollution of the North Sea or the Black Sea, and damage to the stratospheric ozone layer. Transboundary pollution can have regional effects on local ecosystems (e.g., acid deposition in a particular country) or worldwide impacts on global public goods (e.g., biodiversity loss due to climate change). Countries should work together to address these pollution problems – the responsibility for reducing the risks to local or global goods should be shared among the nations that benefit from the reduction. While countries do have a common interest to protect themselves, they may or may not be individually interested in abating pollution voluntarily at a socially optimal level. A country may thus free ride off the abatement efforts of other nations, because no one country can be prevented from enjoying the benefits of pollution risk reduction, regardless of whether or not it contributed to the abatement effort.
The purpose of the Summer School is to investigate some of the key issues emerging from the economic analysis of transboundary pollution, global public good problems, and environmental conflict. The focus will be on climate change as an important example of a worldwide environmental problem requiring global solutions.
The School will be divided in two parts. The first part will be devoted to the theoretical models on international environmental agreements based on game theory. The review of the basic models will be extended to include dynamic models and the analysis of uncertainty on the scope of cooperation. The second part will focus on some of the climate-economy integrated assessment models elaborated to evaluate the effects of different climate policies.

The Summer School is targeted to postgraduate students. Admission is conditional on the presentation by each student of his/her doctoral work; therefore PhD students who want to apply normally need to be advanced in their PhD to have produced at least one substantive chapter, but not to have completely finished their thesis. Application is restricted to 2010 EAERE members, both European and non European citizens. Given the highly interactive activities planned at the Summer School, the number of participants is limited to 20. There is no participation fee. All applicants can apply for a scholarship.

For further information on application and funding please access the Summer School Website at or contact the Summer School Secretariat.

Second International Conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity

The second international conference on Economic Degrowth for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity is planned towards the end of March 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. It is organised by the Institute of Science and Environmental Technology (ICTA), Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (, and the organization Research & Degrowth ( The conference follows the one held in Paris in April 2008 (proceedings available at

The conference focuses on "socially sustainable economic degrowth", and links economic, environmental and social perspectives, with an emphasis on practical policies and concrete proposals. Papers accepted will be presented as posters at the conference and included in the published conference proceedings. A list of the best papers will be selected by the scientific committee and included in special issues to be published in scientific journals. A special issue with papers from the 1st conference is under publication at the Journal of Cleaner Production.

The Barcelona conference will have a special set-up, the focus being on intensive workshops where groups of participants will discuss specific policy proposals and research priorities. Selected speakers will also give plenary speeches. The conference will mainly take place in English, and translation will be limited. More information about the conference is available at More precise information on venue and program will soon be available.

International Conference "Deltas in Times of Climate Change" (Call for abstracts)

The two official Dutch research programmes on climate change and spatial planning (Climate changes Spatial Planning and Knowledge for Climate), the City of Rotterdam and the C40 (a group of the world’s largest cities committed to tackling climate change) invite scientists, politicians, policy-makers and practitioners to share their knowledge and experience in a major international conference on climate adaptation. It is held from September 29 – October 1, 2010 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The conference pursues three main goals:

  1. exchanging up-to-date top science on climate change and delta planning
  2. strengthening international cooperation between deltas and delta cities
  3. exploring and strengthening the links between science, policy and practitioners

Authors who wish to present a paper or poster related to the scientific programme are invited to submit an abstract.

The abstracts have to be submitted before 15 February 2010, and will be expected to fit within one of the themes:

  1. Regional climate, sea level rise, storm surges, river run-off and coastal flooding
  2. Fresh water availability under sea level rise and climate change
  3. Climate change and estuarine ecosystems
  4. Climate change and climate proofing in urban areas
  5. Competing claims and land use in deltas under climate change
  6. Governance and economics of climate adaptation
  7. Decision support instruments for climate adaptation policy
  8. Climate and health in delta areas
  9. Managing extreme weather risks

More information is available at the conference website and the brochure of the conference.

Eco-economic Challenges of the 21st Century

The conference Eco-economic Challenges of the 21st Century will take place on 5-6 March 2010, at 'Alexandru Ioan Cuza' University, Iasi, Romania. Abstracts may be sent until 8th of February 2010. For further details, please contact Dr. Mioara Borza,, or Dr. Costica Mihai, or check the online announcements section of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, - Conferinte/219

IPA 2010 - Call for papers

Following successful conferences in Birmingham (2006), Amsterdam (2007), Essex (2008) and Kassel (2009), the 5th Conference on Interpretive Policy Analysis in Grenoble will extend the complex investigation of meaning and politics by exploring, in particular, current challenges for discursive politics and policy practices. Interpretive Policy Analysis entails diverse methodological paths aiming to explain current challenges of politics. IPA 2010 stresses in particular the relationship among policy, legitimacy and power. Current worries about democratic deficits highlight the question of legitimacy and power and invite reconsiderations of the very core of policy practice as an analytic category through which policy analysts and policy planners inspect the nature of politics that is at stake.

Each paper submission should include: (1) 300 - 500 words abstract, (2) paper title (3) name of paper giver, (4) institutional affiliation and (5) email address.

The call is open until January 31 2010.

Please follow the exact list of the panels at:

15th Coalition Theory Network Workshop

The Groupement de Recherche en Economie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille (GREQAM) will be organizing the 15th Coalition Theory Network Workshop in Marseille, France, on June 17-18, 2010.

The Workshop will present the state of the art of theoretical and empirical research in:

  • Coalition formation
  • Network formation
  • Matching.

The scientific coordinators of the event will be Sebastian Bervoets, Francis Bloch and Frédéric Deroïan. The scientific committee will be composed by representatives of the Coalition Theory Network: Centre d'Économie de la Sorbonne (CES) - Université Paris 1, Center for the study of the Organisations and Decisions in Economics (CODE) - Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Center for Operation Research and Econometrics (CORE) - Université Catholique de Louvain, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Groupement de Recherche en Economie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille (GREQAM) - Université de Marseille, Department of Economics - Universiteit Maastricht, Department of Economics - University of Warwick, Vanderbilt University.

More information about the Workshop is available at


6. Job openings:

Lectureship/Senior Lectureship in Environmental Economics at University of Manchester

There is an Environmental Economics position (Lecturer/Senior Lecturer level) available at the University of Manchester. The closing date is 5th January 2010.

Details are here available.


7. Publications:

Ecological Modelling: An Introduction
written by S.E. Jorgensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

coverEcological Modelling: an Introduction is a textbook tailored for the last year of a bachelor study or the first year of a master study. Ecological Modelling is a very powerful tool in environmental management and ecological research and a course in ecological modelling ought therefore to be compulsory for all studies focusing on environmental management, environmental sciences and ecology.

Order here.


Series: Ecological Economics and Human Well-being

The series is published by OUP India in collaboration with International Society for Ecological Economics. The volumes shall generate interest among ecologists, economists, climate scientists, environmental institutions, NGOs, and other interest groups worldwide, especially in the backdrop of the ensuing Copenhagen Summit.

The e-flyer can be downloaded here.