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Darwinian coevolution of organizations and the environment

By Geoffrey M. Hodgson

Abstract

Darwinism offers a highly abstract and general meta-theoretical framework to help understand both natural and social evolution. This framework is of significance for ecological economics because it addresses the evolution and coevolution of biological systems and sets of human institutions. This paper outlines this framework and charts its historical origins since the time of Darwin. It is suggested that this over-arching framework is useful for ecological economics as a common meta-narrative within which more detailed examinations of both institutional and ecological mechanisms may be placed. Applying Darwinism in this manner does not mean that institutions or organizations are explained in purely biological terms: it means that Darwinian principles are not confined to biology.Ecological economics Darwinism Coevolution Organizations Institutions Sustainability

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