University of Leeds 110 Anniversary Research Scholarship
Diploma studies (equivalent to BSc + MSc) in Business from WU Vienna University of Economics and Business
European Society for Ecological Economics (ESEE)
Researcher at Sustainable Europe Research Institute, Vienna, 2008-2012
Research intern at Green Economics Institute, Oxford, 2008
Research intern at UK Sustainable Development Commission, London, 2008
Research assistant at Austrian Society for Environment and Technology, 2007
Intern at Austrian Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, 2006
Towards a heterodox theory of the environment. Building bridges between heterodox and ecological economics
Ecological economics, Marxist political economy, economic theory, methodology, history of economic thought
This PhD research aims to strengthen theoretical and methodological links between heterodox economics and ecological economics. It is based on the recognition that tackling the interrelated nature of social-ecological phenomena from a systemic perspective is rare, i.e. there is little theorising about the environment and the economy as a whole. More theorising is needed however, as it is both important for understanding and explaining the reality of contemporary economic systems and for thinking about how future sustainable societies might look like.
The starting point is an analysis why ecological economic theory is better suited to address global environmental change than environmental economics. However, it fails to offer a full alternative to the mainstream as it lacks a sound understanding of mature capitalist economies. Heterodox economic theories can help fill this gap and contribute to informing alternative theory. One heterodox school of thought will be studied in particular in the light of global environmental change: Marxist political economy. This analysis builds the foundations for addressing specific research gaps in ecological economics, based on a deeper understanding of capitalist structures and a systems-oriented perspective on institutional change.
- My research addresses the following questions.
- Why is theory development needed in ecological economics?
- What building blocks for ecological-economic theory can be derived from heterodox economics, Marxist political economy in particular?
- How can these elements be combined in a new theoretical synthesis: what is the research agenda moving forward?
Teaching Assistant in LUBS2040 Theories of Growth, Value and Distribution 2016, University of Leeds Business School 2016
External lecturer in environmental and ecological economics 2013-2017, IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems (AT)
External lecturer in ecological economics 2014-2016, AEMS summer school 'Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems' (Vienna, AT)
External lecturer and teaching assistant in sustainability economics 2012, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business
External lecturer in sustainability economics 2010, Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt (AT)
Pirgmaier, E. (2017 forthcoming). The neoclassical Trojan horse of steady-state economics. Ecological Economics.
Stagl, S., Schulz, N., Kratena, K., Mechler, R., Pirgmaier, E., Radunsky, K., Rezai, A., Köppl, A. (2014). Transformationspfade. In: Österreichischer Sachstandsbericht Klimawandel 2014 (AAR14), Hrsg. Austrian Panel on Climate Change (APCC), Band 3-Kap. 6. Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Bleischwitz, R., Meyer, B., Giljum, S., Acosta, J., Distelkamp, M., Meyer, M., Pirgmaier, E., Schütz, H., Ritsche, D. (2012). Wirtschaftliches Wachstum mit weniger Ressourcen: die absolute Entkopplung ist möglich. Ökologisches Wirtschaften 2. 30-33.
Pirgmaier, E. (2011). Viewpoint on ‘Is the concept of a green economy a useful way of framing policy discussions and policymaking to promote sustainable development?’. Natural Resources Forum 35:1. 67.
Hinterberger, F. und Pirgmaier, E. (2009). Die ökonomischen Grenzen des Wachstums. Kann unsere Wirtschaft anhaltend wachsen? Wissenschaft & Umwelt Interdisziplinär 13. 58-69.
Books and book chapters
Hinterberger, F., Pirgmaier, E., Freytag, E., Schuster. M. (Ed.) (2012). Growth in Transition. Abingdon/New York: Earthscan.
Pirgmaier, E., Hinterberger, F. (2012). What kind of growth is sustainable? A presentation of arguments. In: Hinterberger, F., Pirgmaier, E., Freytag, E., Schuster. M. (Ed.) (2012). Growth in Transition. Abingdon/New York: Earthscan.
Hinterberger, F., Hutterer, H., Omann, I., Pirgmaier, E., Giljum, S., Stocker, A., Teufl, A. (2009). Welches Wachstum ist nachhaltig? Ein Argumentarium. In: Hinterberger, F., Hutterer, H., Omann, I., Freytag, E. (Hg) (2009). Welches Wachstum ist nachhaltig? Ein Argumentarium. Wien: Mandelbaum Verlag.
Project reports and studies
Pirgmaier, E. (2012). Areas of contention in Greening the Economy. Background paper for the 2nd EU Dialogue on sustainable consumption and economic growth 29 and 30 October 2012, Brussels. RESPONDER project, FP7 Grant Agreement number 265297.
Pirgmaier, E. (2012). Future Dossier ‘Alternative Economic and Social Concepts’. Background paper for the 2nd International Growth in Transition conference, Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Vienna.
Pirgmaier, E., Schreiber, H. (2012). Eco-innovation in Austria. EIO country profile 2011. ‘Eco-Innovation Observatory: analysing and forecasting eco-innovation trends’ project, EuropeINNOVA-ENT-CIP-09-C-N01S00 Strand 5.
Pirgmaier, E., Kalcik, R., Lugschitz, B., Polzin, C., Giljum, S. (2011). Risks associated with future European resource use. Task report of project ‘Macroeconomic modelling of sustainable development and the links between the economy and the environment’, Tender ENV.F.1/ETU/2010/0033 for the European Commission – DG Environment, Brussels.
Stocker, A., Großmann, A., Wolter, M., Pirgmaier, E., Hinterberger, F. (2011). Implications of a persistent low-growth path. A scenario analysis. Report for the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management; Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research; Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Vienna.
Pirgmaier (2011). Eco-innovation in Austria. EIO country profile 2010. ‘Eco-Innovation Observatory: analysing and forecasting eco-innovation trends’ project, EuropeINNOVA-ENT-CIP-09-C-N01S00 Strand 5.
Pirgmaier, E., Stocker, A., Hinterberger, F. (2010). Causes, consequences and strategies for dealing with low-growth in Austria. Task report of project ‘Implications of a persistent low growth path. A Scenario Analysis’. Vienna.
Pollitt, H., Pirgmaier, E., Barker, A., Barton, J., Hinterberger, F., Lutter, S., Polzin, C., Stocker, A. (2010). A Scoping Study on the Macroeconomic View of Sustainability. Final report for the European Commission – DG Environment, ENV.G.1/ETU/2009/0054r.
Buczko, C., Giljum, S., Hickersberger, M., Hinterberger, F., Picek, O., Pirgmaier, E., Riegler, K., Schratzenstaller-Altzinger, M., Stocker, A., Thoman, J. (2010). Ökosoziale Marktwirtschaft für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaftsordnung. Wissenschaftliches Hintergrundpapier zum Update der Ökosozialen Marktwirtschaft, Wien.
Rayment, M., Pirgmaier, E., De Ceuster, G., Hinterberger, F., Kuik, O., Leveson Gower, H., Polzin, C., Varma, A. (2009). The economic benefits of environmental policy. Final report for the European Commission – DG Environment, ENV.G.1/FRA/2006/0073 – 2nd.
Lutter, S., Pirgmaier, E., Frühmann, J., Burger, E., Mayr, M., Polzin, C. (2009). Measuring Performance towards Sustainable Consumption and Production. Types of Indicators and Indicator Sets. Deliverable D1c of the FP7 Action Town project.
Pirgmaier, E. and Hinterberger, F. (2011). Economic obesity in rich countries is leading the world to the brink. Thinkpiece for the political debate on: The Nature of Growth: In Search of a new Framework for Progress and Prosperity, Friends of Europe Greening Europe Forum, Brussels.
Pirgmaier, E. and Trattnigg, R. (2010). Growth in Transition. An Austrian Initiative towards Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity. Conclusions of the International Growth in Transition conference 2010, Vienna.