Document Type


Publication Title

Sustainability Science


Springer Verlag

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This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the rights-holder(s) for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Publication Date


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Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Last Page


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Volume Number


Abstract/ Summary

Participants in sustainability science, as an emerging discipline, have not yet developed fully a coherent ontology, epistemology, ideology, or methodology. There is clearer agreement on the ideology of sustainability science, agreement that can be used to consider the compatibility of that ideology with methodologies brought to bear in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research teams. Benefit–cost analysis, one such methodology from the neoclassical economics tradition, is often used in the context of sustainability science. As currently formulated and practiced, benefit–cost analysis is incompatible with the ideology of sustainability science and should not be used to evaluate proposed solutions to sustainability problems. Other methods from economics are more appropriate for use in sustainability science.

Publisher Statement

© Springer Japan 2014


DOI: 10.1007/s11625-014-0266-4


post-print (i.e. final draft post-refereeing with all author corrections and edits)



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In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.