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Sustainable Development: Needs, Values, Rights


  • Michael Redclift


'Sustainable development' is analysed as a product of the Modernist tradition, in which social criticism and understanding are legitimized against a background of evolutionary theory, scientific specialization, and rapid economic growth. Within this tradition, sustainable development emphasizes the need to live within ecological limits, but allows the retention of an essentially optimistic idea of progress. However, the inherent contradictions in the concept of sustainable development may lead to rejection of the Modernist view in favour of a new vision of the world in which the authority of science and technology is questioned and more emphasis is placed on cultural diversity.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Redclift, 1993. "Sustainable Development: Needs, Values, Rights," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 2(1), pages 3-20, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev2:ev201

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    Cited by:

    1. Bakari Mohamed El-Kamel, 2013. "Globalization and Sustainable Development: False Twins?," New Global Studies, De Gruyter, vol. 7(3), pages 23-56, November.
    2. Ghoochani Omid M. & Bakhshi Azadeh & Nejad Azar Hashemi & Ghanian Mansour & Cotton Matthew, 2015. "Environmental values in the petrochemical industry: A Q-method study in South West Iran," Environmental & Socio-economic Studies, De Gruyter Open, vol. 3(4), pages 1-10, December.

    More about this item


    development; environment; modernism; needs; post-modernism; sustainability; values;

    JEL classification:

    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth


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