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Re-conceptualising Commitments to Sustainable Development in the 21st Century – Nurturing Action and Accountability in the Networked World


  • Brendan Guy

    (Natural Resources Defense Council, New York)


The 2012 United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20, was the largest UN conference in history. The goal of the conference was to renew the political commitment for sustainable development, and to assess remaining gaps in implementation of the outcomes of major summits on sustainable development. Rio+20 sought to produce a focused political document by which world leaders could drive action on “the future we want,” the tagline of the conference. Unlike the original Rio Earth Summit of 1992, no major legally binding treaties were signed and no significant funding mechanisms were mobilised. In the aftermath of the conference, many observers expressed discontent at the lack of an ambitious globally negotiated agreement to catalyse on-the-ground sustainable development results.

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  • Brendan Guy, 2014. "Re-conceptualising Commitments to Sustainable Development in the 21st Century – Nurturing Action and Accountability in the Networked World," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 45(2), pages 223-244.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:45:y:2014:i:2:p:223-244

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Daniel H. Cole, 2011. "From Global to Polycentric Climate Governance," EUI-RSCAS Working Papers 30, European University Institute (EUI), Robert Schuman Centre of Advanced Studies (RSCAS).
    2. Harriet Bulkeley & Liliana Andonova & Karin Bäckstrand & Michele Betsill & Daniel Compagnon & Rosaleen Duffy & Ans Kolk & Matthew Hoffmann & David Levy & Peter Newell & Tori Milledge & Matthew Paters, 2012. "Governing climate change transnationally: assessing the evidence from a database of sixty initiatives," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 30(4), pages 591-612, August.
    3. Elinor Ostrom, 2012. "Nested externalities and polycentric institutions: must we wait for global solutions to climate change before taking actions at other scales?," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 49(2), pages 353-369, February.
    4. Aseem Prakash & Matthew Potoski, 2012. "Voluntary environmental programs: A comparative perspective," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 123-138, December.
    5. R. Quentin Grafton, 2000. "Governance of the Commons: A Role for the State?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(4), pages 504-517.
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    sustainable development; policy goals;


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