Law, Environment, and the 'Nondismal' Social Sciences
Posted: 31 Oct 2012
Date Written: December 2012
Over the past 30 years, the influence of economics over the study of environmental law and policy has expanded considerably, becoming in the process the predominant framework for analyzing regulations that address pollution, natural resource use, and other environmental issues. This review seeks to complement the expansion of economic reasoning and methodology within the field of environmental law and policy by identifying insights to be gleaned from various “nondismal” social sciences. In particular, three areas of inquiry are highlighted as illustrative of interdisciplinary work that might help to complement law and economics and, in some cases, compensate for it: the study of how human individuals perceive, judge, and decide; the observation and interpretation of how knowledge schemes are created, used, and regulated; and the analysis of how states and other actors coordinate through international and global regulatory regimes. The hope is to provide some examples of how environmental law and policy research can be improved by deeper and more diverse engagement with social science.
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