IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Pitfalls of Sustainability Policies: Insights into Plural Sustainabilities

  • François Mancebo

    (International Research Center on Sustainability (IRCS), Reims University, Reims, France)

Registered author(s):

    A lot can be learned from the numerous pitfalls of sustainable development implementation: they outline how collective representation, short term interests and balance of power can undermine sustainability. For instance, the usefulness of global institutions in dealing with sustainable development is questionable as most are skewed toward the interests and perceptions of developed countries. The notion of sustainable development itself induces a profound cleavage between academic authors and the actors of its implementation, some of whom confuse it with sustainable growth (which favors spatial equity), whilst the others with environment management (which favors intergenerational equity). This polarization is a real problem, since originally, "Our Common Future" report promotes an inclusive approach, able to cope with both equities simultaneously. Finally, if there are obligations toward future generations, there are also obligations toward the current generation. The key issue for effective sustainability policies should be making them acceptable to everyone by including the expectations of local societies and communities. As a matter of consequence, universal solutions do not exist. They would not meet the specificities of local circumstances. The traditional prescriptive sustainable development model should give way to flexible plural sustainabilities. Singular, top-down, global-to-local approaches to sustainable development should be substituted for multiple sustainabilities.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by Librello publishing house in its journal Challenges in Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 29-40

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:lib:000cis:v:1:y:2013:i:1:p:29-40
    Contact details of provider:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Robinson, John, 2004. "Squaring the circle? Some thoughts on the idea of sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(4), pages 369-384, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lib:000cis:v:1:y:2013:i:1:p:29-40. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dr. José Alberto Fernandez Monteiro)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.