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Journal Articles Ecological Economics Year : 2020

The Commodification of Nature, a Review in Social Sciences


The commodification of nature, through privatization, marketization, monetary valuation and other associated processes, has become a central topic in social sciences to examine the conditions and effects of the economic approaches for supporting conservation policies all around the world. The aim of this contribution is to delineate the current state of knowledge, within and beyond ecological economics, and to see, with some historical perspective, how commodification has been systematized in the literature. The results are as follows: (i) studies of commodification processes remain essentially critical, with a central role played by economists, political ecologists and geographers; (ii) over the past 15 years, we have seen more fragmentation than consolidation of the field; (iii) researchers avoid analytical shortcuts, but do not always well define what they mean by commodification. The construction of visual representations -- we propose a 'commodification chain' -- and the identification of decommodification opportunities are future lines of research that would be promising, particularly for the community of ecological economists.
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hal-03250086 , version 1 (04-06-2021)



Jacob Smessaert, Antoine Missemer, Harold Levrel. The Commodification of Nature, a Review in Social Sciences. Ecological Economics, 2020, 172, pp.106624. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106624⟩. ⟨hal-03250086⟩
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