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Research Area 7

Responsibility for Sustainability

The normative concept of responsibility links ethical principles and concrete actions. We may thus derive concrete demands for our actions from principles of sustainability. Intergenerational justice, for example, demands the protection of biodiversity and a stable climate. However, our responsibility is limited by our knowledge and our capacities. It is hence not our responsibility to avoid unforeseeable or inevitable disadvantages in the inherently uncertain future. In this research area we study which responsibility sustainability principles imply for the present generation, in how far it is limited, which trade-offs exist, and which actions – on a collective or individual level – should be taken. We build on concepts and methods from economics, ethics and psychology.

 

 

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Baumgärtner, S., M. Faber and J. Schiller (2006), Joint Production and Responsibility in Ecological Economics. On the Foundations of Environmental Policy, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.

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Baumgärtner, S., Klauer, B., Petersen, T., Quaas, M.F., Schiller, J. and Stumpf, K.H. (2010). Sustainability under uncertainty as responsibility. Paper presented at the Biennial Conference of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE), Olderburg/Bremen, August 22–25, 2010.

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Baumgärtner, S., T. Petersen and J. Schiller (2018), The concept of responsibility: norms, actions, and their consequences, Working Paper.

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Fünfgelt, J. and S. Baumgärtner (2012), A utilitarian notion of responsibility for sustainability, University of Lüneburg Working Paper Series in Economics, Working Paper No. 234, March 2012.

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Fünfgelt, J. and S. Baumgärtner (2012), Regulation of morally responsible agents with motivation crowding, University of Lüneburg Working Paper Series in Economics, Working Paper No. 241, June 2012.

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Olbrich, R., M.F. Quaas and S. Baumgärtner (2014), Personal norms of sustainability and farm management behavior, Sustainability 6(8), 4990–5017.

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Stumpf, K.H., S. Baumgärtner, C.U. Becker and S. Sievers-Glotzbach (2015), The justice dimension of sustainability. A systematic and general conceptual framework, Sustainability 7(6): 7438-7472.

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Stumpf, K.H., C.U. Becker and S. Baumgärtner (2016), A conceptual structure of justice – Providing a tool to analyse conceptions of justice, Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19(5): 1187- 1202.

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