All together or going it alone? Normativities and the variety of markets for biodiversity offsets

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Can local markets, designed as solutions to local problems, ever be generalised for deployment at a global scale? Globalisation processes and the spread of the tools and discourses of economics suggest they can. The familiar advice to ‘think global act local’ has become a well-rehearsed adage employed for many social and environmental problems, a prevalent mnemonic which translates a single belief: that there is a preferred ‘better way’ of doing things, of solving problems, and of achieving the best possible outcomes. The invitation to ‘think global, act local’ encompasses not only a faith in individual cosmopolitanism as a mechanism for tackling some of the world’s most intractable problems, but a belief in the existence of a single set of normative preferences, shared by all in society, and delivered through the same mechanisms everywhere. Markets, in this view, are local solutions to local problems which can – ought to, in fact – expand, unhindered, to deliver the best possible solution everywhere. One of the areas where this is most visible is in discussions about environmental protection.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResponsibility at Stake in the Governance of Innovation Processes
EditorsP. Larédo, S. Randles, Y. Nugruho
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Volume(In Press)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Oct 2015

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