Thomas Princen The Logic of Sufficiency

ISBN 13: 9780262162326

The Logic of Sufficiency

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9780262162326: The Logic of Sufficiency

What if modern society put a priority on the material security of its citizens and the ecological integrity of its resource base? What if it took ecological constraint as a given, not a hindrance but a source of long-term economic security? How would it organize itself, structure its industry, shape its consumption?Across time and across cultures, people actually have adapted to ecological constraint. They have changed behavior; they have built institutions. And they have developed norms and principles for their time. Today's environmental challenges -- at once global, technological, and commercial -- require new behaviors, new institutions, and new principles.In this highly original work, Thomas Princen builds one such principle: sufficiency. Sufficiency is not about denial, not about sacrifice or doing without. Rather, when resource depletion and overconsumption are real, sufficiency is about doing well. It is about good work and good governance; it is about goods that are good only to a point.With examples ranging from timbering and fishing to automobility and meat production, Princen shows that sufficiency is perfectly sensible and yet absolutely contrary to modern society's dominant principle, efficiency. He argues that seeking enough when more is possible is both intuitive and rational -- personally, organizationally and ecologically rational. And under global ecological constraint, it is ethical. Over the long term, an economy -- indeed a society -- cannot operate as if there's never enough and never too much.

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About the Author:

Thomas Princen is the author of The Logic of Sufficiency and lead editor of Confronting Consumption, both published by the MIT Press and both winners of the International Studies Association's Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for best book on international environmental affairs. He teaches social and ecological sustainability at the University of Michigan.

Review:

"After reading this book, anyone still using the word 'efficiency' is bound to stumble and stutter. Masterfully dissecting the hidden economism among policymakers, Princen audaciously calls for 'sufficiency' as the cornerstone of a growth-free society."--Wolfgang Sachs, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy



A "detailed and engaging history of the efficiency principle and its role in supporting the paradigm of unlimited economic growth." Robert Costanza Nature



"...an admirable and timely book... a first-rate effort at breaking new ground in the consumption debate." Norman Myers Science



" The Logic of Sufficiency is the most thought-provoking book I have read on the interaction of the individual, society, economics, and the environment. You will not be disappointed with Thomas Princen"s cutting-edge thinking about humans living in harmony with the land that sustains us." Mike Dombeck, GEM Professor, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, UW System Fellow of Global Conservation, and former U.S. Forest Service Chief



"This book is a significant contribution to the field of global environmental studies. Many books and articles in environmental studies mention sufficiency, but none develop the concept in a systematic way. The book will remain the core text that critiques the principle of efficiency and advocates the principle of sufficiency for years to come." Peter Dauvergne, Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Politics, University of British Columbia



"In this thoroughly original, imaginative, and deftly written book, Princen presents a powerful critique of the environmental consequences of economic efficiency while advocating, with intelligence and thoughtfulness, the principle of sufficiency. Many books and articles in environmental studies mention sufficiency, but none develop the concept in a systematic way. The scholarship is comprehensive, cutting across numerous disciplines with depth and accuracy. This book will be at the forefrontof normative global environmental studies and will remain a core text for years to come."--Peter Dauvergne, Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Politics, University of British Columbia



"*The Logic of Sufficiency* is the most thought-provoking book I have read on the interaction of the individual, society, economics, and the environment. You will not be disappointed with Thomas Princen's cutting-edge thinking about humans living in harmony with the land that sustains us."--Mike Dombeck, GEM Professor, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, UW System Fellow of Global Conservation, and former U.S. Forest Service Chief

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