Neoliberal Bio-Economies?

  • Kean Birch


Currently, solutions to environmental problems, like climate change, are primarily framed in terms of market-based instruments or approaches, relying on private interests and incentives to drive environmental change. Such market-based solutions are increasingly criticized as examples of ‘neoliberalism’—the installation of markets as the only or primary institution in society. Drawing on a range of scholarly literature, this chapter introduces the concept of neoliberalism and outlines how it is used to analyse the insertion of markets in environmental processes and systems. I critically engage with this ‘neoliberal natures’ literature in order to problematize the notion that markets are some sort of aberration of nature. Rather, I stress the need to frame these issues within an approach that incorporates political-economic and material processes in order to understand phenomenon like the bio-economy.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kean Birch
    • 1
  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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