Profile picture of Barbara Muraca

Barbara Muraca

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies
Associate Department Head (Philosophy)/Curriculum Committee (Chair)/GTF Appointment Committee
Environmental Studies, Philosophy
Office: 242 Susan Campbell Hall
Office Hours: Spring 2024: Tuesdays 2:00-3:30pm & upon appointment; for graduate students only (upon email confirmation): Tuesdays 5:30-6:30pm
Research Interests: Environmental Philosophy, Process Philosophy sustainability, degrowth, human-nature relationships


Barbara Muraca is Associate Professor of Philosophy. Her research focuses on Environmental and Social Philosophy, Process Philosophy, and Political Ecology. Prior to working at University of Oregon she was Assistant Professor of Environmental and Social Philosophy at Oregon State University and Senior Researcher (Post-Doc) at the Center for Advanced Studies 'Post-growth Societies' at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Jena, Germany. Muraca received her MA in Philosophy from the University of Turin, Italy, and her Ph.D. from the University of Greifswald, Germany. From 2014 to 2020 she was co-director of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy (IAEP). From 2018 to 2022 she was a Lead Author for the IPBES assessment on the multiple values of nature (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services).

Research Interests

  1. General areas of research:
    Process Philosophy (A.N. Whitehead); Environmental and Social Philosophy; Feminist Philosophy; Political Ecology; Decolonial Ecology
  2. Current research:
    - Human-Nature Relationships and their values, diverse value and valuation of ecosystem services. My work focuses on the concept of "relational values" and explores plural, non-Western languages of expressing values and of valuation beyond the dichotomy between intrinsic and instrumental value; relationships between ecosystems and society
    - Sustainability Theory and Degrowth: my current research focuses on crisis scenarios beyond economic growth and the role of new social movements for a radical social-ecological transformation; sustainability and justice; relational turn in sustainability
    - Global Environmental Justice, Political and Decolonial Ecology: focus on a critique of the coloniality of 'nature', epistemic/ontological encounters across diverse knowledge systems and worlds, environmental justice from a global perspective


Books​ (in German)
Muraca, B. (2010): Denken in Grenzgebiet: prozessphilosophische Grundlagen einer Theorie starker Nachhaltigkeit. Freiburg/München: Karl Alber Verlag, 442 pages. Winner of Alber Award 2010.

Muraca, B. (2014): Gut Leben: Eine Gesellschaft jenseits des Wachstums. Berlin: Wagenbach, 94 pages.

Scientific Reports

Anderson, C.B., et al., (2022). “Chapter 2: Conceptualizing the diverse values of nature and their contributions to people”. In: Methodological Assessment Report on the Diverse Values and Valuation of Nature of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Balvanera, P., Pascual, U., Christie, M., Baptiste, B., and González-Jiménez, D. (eds). IPBES secretariat, Bonn, Germany.

Selected refereed Articles in English:

Austin Himes, Barbara Muraca, et al., "Why nature matters: A systematic review of intrinsic, instrumental, and relational values," BioScience, 2023, LINK to publication

Pascual,Unai, et al., "Diverse values of nature for sustainability," Nature, 2023, LINK to publication

Raymond, Christopher M., et al., “An inclusive typology of values for navigating transformations towards a just and sustainable future” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 64, October 2023, 101301 LINK to publication

Arias-Arévalo, Paola, et al., “The role of power in leveraging the diverse values of nature for transformative change,” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 64, October 2023, 101352 LINK to publication

Lenzi, Dominic, et al., “Justice, Sustainability, and the Diverse Values of Nature: Why They Matter for Biodiversity Conservation,” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 64, October 2023, 101353 LINK to publication

Gould, R.K., et al.,. "Constraint breeds creativity: A brainstorming method to jumpstart out-of-the-box thinking for sustainability science." BioScience, 2023, biad077, LINK to Journal website. LINK to Accepted version PDF

Rachelle Gould, et al., “Relational values as a response to critiques of market-based environmental valuation,” Environmental Values, forthcoming.

Gould, Rachelle, et al. . “Biodiversity and Relational Values,” Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 3rd Edition, 2023, Elsevier. LINK to publication

Llisco, Bosco et al. "Nature’s disvalues: what are they and why do they matter?" Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 56, 2022, 101173. LINK to publication

Brand, Ulrich et al. "From planetary to societal boundaries: an argument for collectively defined self-limitation." Sustainability: Science, Practice, and Policy, vol. 17(1), 2021, pp.265-292 LINK to publication

Chan, Kai, et al.. “Levers and Leverage Points for Pathways to Sustainability.” People and Nature. Journal of the British Ecological Society, vol.2, 2020, pp. 693–717. LINK to publication

Jacobs, Sanders, et al.. “Use your power for good: plural valuation of nature – the Oaxaca statement.” Global Sustainability, 3, e8, 2020, 1–7. doi: 10.1017/sus.2020.2 LINK to publication

Gould, Rachelle K, Māhealani Pai, Barbara Muraca, and Kai M.A. Chan. “He ʻike ʻana ia i ka pono (it is a recognizing of the right thing): how one indigenous worldview informs relational values and social values.” Sustainability Science vol. 14, no. 5, 2019, pp. 1213–1232. doi: 10.1007/s11625-019-00721-9.

Himes, A., Muraca, B. (2018): Relational values: the key to pluralistic valuation of ecosystem services. In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 35, 1-7 LINK to Journal Site

Kallis, G. et al. (2018): Research on Degrowth. In: Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour 43:4.1–4.26. LINK to publication

Muraca B., Neuber, F. (2018): Viable and Convivial Technologies: Considerations on Climate Engineering from a Degrowth Perspective. In: Journal of Cleaner Production 197, 1810-1822.

Muraca, B. (2016): Relational Values: A Whiteheadian Alternative for Environmental Philosophy and Global Environmental Justice. In: Balkan Journal of Philosophy 8(1), 19-38. LINK to publication

Chan, Kai et al. (2016): Why protect nature? Rethinking values and the environment. In: PNAS 113 (6), 1462-1465. LINK to Publication

Jax, Kurt et al. (2013): Ecosystem services and ethics. In: Ecological Economics 93, 260–268.

Muraca, B. (2013): Décroissance: A Project for a Radical Transformation of Society. In: Environmental Values 22 (2), 147-169. LINK to Jstor access

Muraca, B. (2012): Towards a fair degrowth-society: Justice and the right to a ‘good life’ beyond growth. In: Futures 44 (6), 535–545.

Muraca, B. (2011): The Map of Moral Significance: a new matrix for environmental ethics. In: Environmental Values 20 (3), 375-396.

Selected refereed Book Chapters in English:

Saave, Anna and Barbara Muraca “Rethinking Labour/Work in a Degrowth Society.”. The Palgrave Handbook of Environmental Labour Studies. Eds. Nora Räthzel, Dimitris Stevis, David Uzzell, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, 743-767. 

Muraca, Barbara (2020). “Possibilities for Degrowth: a radical alternative to the neoliberal restructuring of growth-societies.” Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Sociology, Vol 2. In: Keller, J., Legun, K., Carolan, M., and Bell, M. M. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 478-496. LINK to abstract

Saave, Anna and Barbara Muraca (2021). “Rethinking Labour/Work in a Degrowth Society.”. The Palgrave Handbook of Environmental Labour Studies. Eds. Nora Räthzel, Dimitris Stevis, David Uzzell, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021, 743-767. LINK to publication

Muraca, B., Döring, R. (2018): From (strong) sustainability to Degrowth: A philosophical and historical reconstruction. In: Caradonna, J.: Routledge Handbook of the History of Sustainability. London: Routledge, 339-361. LINK to abstract

Muraca, B., Schmelzer, M. (2017): Sustainable degrowth: historical roots of the search for alternatives to growth in three regions. In: Borowy, I., Schmelzer, M.: History of the Future of Economic Growth - Historical roots of current debates on sustainable degrowth. London: Routledge, 174-196.

Muraca, B. (2016): Re-appropriating the Ecosystem Services concept for a decolonization of ‘nature’. In Bannon, B.: Nature and Experience. Rowman & Littlefield, 143-156.

Petridis, P., Muraca, B. Kallis, G. (2015): Degrowth: between a scientific concept and a slogan for a social movement. In: Martinez-Alier, J., Muradian, R.: Handbook of Ecological Economics. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 176-200.

Muraca, B. (2014): Teleology and the life sciences: between limit concept and ontological necessity. In: Koutroufinis, S (ed.). Life and Process Towards a New Biophilosophy. Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, pp. 37-71.

Selected refereed publications in German:

Muraca, Barbara. "Von den Rechten der Natur zum konvivialen Naturschutz?: Allianzen zwischen globalen Umweltbewegungen und dem Kampf indigener Völker durch kontrollierte Äquivokation" Zeitschrift für Kultur- und Kollektivwissenschaft 9, no. 2 (2023): 135-164. DOI

Muraca, Barbara. “Für eine Dekolonisierung des Anthropozän-Diskurses: Diagnosen, Protagonisten und Transformationsszenarien” (For a Decolonization of the Anthropocene discourse: diagnosis, protagonists, and scenarios for transformation). Gesellschaftstheorie im Anthropozän. Eds. Frank Adloff, Sieghard Neckel, forthcoming (exp. Summer 2020). Frankfurt/New York: Campus.

Muraca, Barbara. “Prozessphilosophie als Grundlage für die ökologische Ökonomik: Gemeinsamkeiten und Differenzen mit dem Critical Realism.” (Process Philosophy as foundation for Ecological Economics: commonalities and differences with Critical Realism) Critical Realism meets kritische Sozialtheorie: Erklärung und Kritik in den Sozialwissenschaften. Eds. Urs Lindner and Dimitri Mader, 2017. Bielefeld: Transcript (De Gruyter). 243-272.

Eversberg, Dennis and Barbara Muraca. “Degrowth-Bewegungen: Welche Rolle können sie in einer sozialökologischen Transformation spielen?” (Degrowth-Movements: which role can they play for a social-ecological transformation?) Special Issue “Große Transformation? Zur Zukunft moderner Gesellschaften” (Great Transformation: the future of modern societies), Berliner Journal für Soziologie, 2019, 487-503.

Muraca, Barbara. “Wider den Wachstumswahn: Degrowth als konkrete Utopie.” (Against the insanity of growth: degrowth as a concrete utopia). Blätter für Deutsche und Internationale Politik vol. 2, 2015, pp. 101-109. Republished in the volume: Blätter für deutsch und internationale Politik: ’Mehr geht nicht: Der Postwachstums-Reader’, Berlin: Edition Blätter, 199-208.


Fall 2020
PHIL 463/563: Alfred North Whitehead

Winter 2021
ENVS 345 Environmental Ethics

Spring 2021
PHIL 312 History of Philosophy: 19th Century
PHIL 340 Environmental Philosophy

Winter 2022
PHIL 340 Environmental Philosophy
ENVS 410/510 Ecosystems and Society - Course Description

Spring 2022
PHIL 453/653 Hegel
ENVS 410/510 Justice, Capitalism, and the Anthropocene

Winter 2023
ENVS 201 Intro Environmental Studies/ Social Sciences
PHIL 645 Seminar: Neoliberalism and Biocapitalism