Category archives for Environment

The Coming Crisis: political economy and the ‘other crisis’

Martin Craig

How we diagnose and respond to the ‘socio-ecological’ crisis is essential to our understanding of any ‘coming crisis’ These are anxious times for political economists, as this blog series attests. A crisis is coming (if it’s not already upon us). Decisive changes are needed to avoid dire consequences. But what exactly is this ‘coming crisis’? At first sight the prior … Continue reading

1 June 2016 by
Categories: Climate change, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, The coming crisis | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: planetary instability

Peter Dauvergne

To solve the escalating environmental crisis the unsustainability of global wealth creation must be confronted, argues Peter Dauvergne in our new ‘coming crisis’ blog. Last year was the hottest ever recorded. And for the first time average global temperatures reached 1°C above pre-industrial times. This was but one sign in 2015 of an escalating global environmental crisis. Rivers of plastic … Continue reading

27 April 2016 by
Categories: Climate change, Environment, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, The coming crisis | Tags: , | Leave a comment

SPERI spotlight on the UN climate summit II

On climate change ontologies and the spirit(s) of oil As we know, preparations are underway for the 21st time for a United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) on Climate Change, intended to produce a ‘deal’ for the management and prevention of anthropogenic climate change. Every edit of the text by government negotiators is being scrutinised by those with varying interests … Continue reading

19 November 2015 by
Categories: Climate change, Economics, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, UN Climate Summit | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

SPERI spotlight on the UN climate summit I

Hayley Stevenson

Democratising decarbonisation after the COP The long-awaited Paris climate summit is almost upon us. Much remains to be decided at this latest Conference of the Parties, or COP21, as the meeting is known in climate politics jargon, including financial support and compensation for vulnerable countries, emissions reporting and verification systems, and the legal form and status of the agreement. For … Continue reading

17 November 2015 by
Categories: Environment, Europe and the EU, Global crisis, SPERI Comment, UN Climate Summit | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Innovation, research and the UK’s productivity crisis

Richard Jones

Continuing on our current path of stagnating productivity and stagnating innovation isn’t inevitable: it’s a political choice The UK is in the midst of an unprecedented peacetime slowdown in productivity growth.  Labour productivity – the economic output produced per hour worked – has, for many decades, grown steadily at 2.3% a year.  All that changed in 2007, since when it … Continue reading

23 September 2015 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Development, Economics, Environment, Finance, Global crisis, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The political economy of (ecological) crisis displacement: Part II

Martin Craig

Failure to begin the difficult process of questioning the purposes of economic activity may produce even more intractable ecological crises in the future In the previous post of this series I argued that contemporary climate policy – to the degree that it succeeds – can only achieve a ‘de-carbonisation’ of the political-economic status quo. It does not challenge the ways … Continue reading

23 June 2015 by
Categories: Environment, Social science, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Resource security and energy abundance

John Mathews

Unless Western countries intervene in their economies to build green energy and resource systems, they will continue to go down to defeat in this field to China Why is China becoming a renewable energy superpower – even as it becomes the world’s largest carbon emitter?  This is surely one of the more interesting and challenging questions in international political economy … Continue reading

28 May 2015 by
Categories: China, Climate change, Economics, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, trade | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Small island states, tax havens and tourism: what price their development?

It is important to consider the damaging environmental consequences of the common association of offshore finance with large numbers of short-term visitors In a previous post I addressed the issue of those small states which have deliberately manipulated their sovereignty and jurisdictional autonomy to play host to a number of offshore financial centres (OFCs) as a means of meeting their … Continue reading

4 February 2015 by
Categories: Business, Economics, Environment, Finance, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, Tax | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The new geopolitical economy of oil in the Americas

Matthew Bishop

The recent collapse in oil prices is a mixed blessing: from the vantage point of the Caribbean the implications are perplexing and disturbing When I moved to Trinidad in 2009, a country blessed with a flourishing hydrocarbon industry, I marvelled at the fact that it cost barely £10 to fill my car with petrol.  But global oil prices were hovering … Continue reading

27 January 2015 by
Categories: Debt, Economics, Environment, Finance, Global crisis, SPERI Comment, trade, USA | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The changing political economy of oil

Tony Payne

The recent big fall in price creates some space for new thinking, but also poses questions to which we don’t have answers The price of oil has been falling.  Last Friday the price of a barrel of Brent crude, the standard benchmark, dropped to US$61.85, its lowest figure since July 2009.  It was as high as US$115 in June this … Continue reading

16 December 2014 by
Categories: Economics, Environment, G20, Global crisis, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, Tony Payne | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Once upon a time in the West

Craig Berry

Andrew Gamble’s new book offers an unrivalled account of the neoliberal fairytale The West – the informal club of the world’s very rich nation-states – has no greater exponent than Andrew Gamble.  That’s not to say that Gamble’s account of the financial crisis and its aftermath, Crisis Without End: The Unravelling of Western Prosperity, is not hugely critical of much … Continue reading

1 October 2014 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Civic Capitalism, Development, Economics, Environment, Global crisis, Inequality, Political theory, SPERI Comment | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Part of the problem or part of the solution? Migration as adaptation to climate change

Andrew Geddes

We need to begin thinking about migration as a response to the combined pressures of climate change and economic insecurity Can migration allow people in some of the poorest parts of the world to sustain their lives and livelihoods in the face of environmental and climate change?  Too often migration both within states and internationally is seen as a crisis, … Continue reading

29 April 2014 by
Categories: Climate change, Development, Environment, India, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , | 4 comments

Asking the right questions

Fred Block

To get out of the crisis we need to think about radical reforms that produce a greener and more equitable form of capitalism ‘If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers’ (Thomas Pynchon) Since 2008 people have been asking whether capitalism can be reformed to eliminate dangerous financial speculation and the extreme … Continue reading

17 April 2014 by
Categories: Civic Capitalism, Environment, Inequality, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A threat to growth? Environmental activism in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis

Genevieve LeBaron

Since the crisis states have raised the stakes for environmentalists, cracking down on dissent and stifling criticism of the ecological costs of economic growth Since 2008 more and more governments have been framing protests and opposition against resource-intensive economic activity – such as mining and oil pipelines – as a threat to economic stability and corporate competitiveness. In 2012, as … Continue reading

7 January 2014 by
Categories: Environment, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Wildlife black markets and the political economy of illegal trade

Combatting illegal wildlife trade requires coordinated transnational action In September this year, Prince William announced that his Royal Foundation would collaborate with leading conservation NGOs to combat illegal wildlife trafficking under the banner ‘United for Wildlife’. Later the same month, the Clinton Global Initiative announced its new ‘Partnership to Save Africa’s Elephants’. The media has also reported on elephants dying … Continue reading

3 December 2013 by
Categories: crime, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, trade, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment