CommentaryInfluencing the perception of what and who is important in ecological economics
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AbstractIn a recent article using citation analysis Hoepner et al. (2012) make strong claims to have identified the most influential works, authors, journals and institutions in a hypothetical field they call environmental and ecological economics. This paper shows that their work is biased by its framing, far from the non-subjective approach they claim and highly sensitive to minor data errors. More than this the exercise can be seen as another example of how ecological economics is susceptible to suppression by a dominant mainstream economic perspective which attempts to override, belittle and dismiss a whole range of alternative thought, including that which is heterodox, interdisciplinary, from the natural sciences and based in the non-economic social sciences. Ecological economics is not the same as agricultural, resource or environmental economics, and if it were it would be pointless. Neither can it be understood or treated as a subfield of resource and environmental economics, as done by Hoepner et al. (2012). I argue that the study promotes a limited perspective on social, environmental and economic problems that includes an implicit political and ideological framing. What is most influential, important or high quality in ecological economics is certainly not defined by such work.

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