Sustainable development (1987-2005): an oxymoron comes of age
The paper examines the conceptual history of 'sustainable development', from the Brundtland Commission's definition in 1987 to the present day. It argues that the superficial consensus that has characterized much of the early debate has given way to a series of parallel but distinct discourses around sustainability. The underlying assumptions behind much of the discussion are assessed, as is the move, after the first Earth Summit (1992), to focus on rights, rather than needs, as the principal line of enquiry. This analytical attention to rights is linked to the neo-liberal economic agendas of the 1990s, and the growth of interest in congruent areas, including human security and the environment, social capital, critical natural capital and intellectual property rights. The paper argues that increasing attention to questions of biology and science studies has strengthened this 'rights-based' approach, as well as interest in the linkages between 'natural' and 'human' systems, including attention to questions of environmental justice. It is clear that issues of global environmental justice are as important as they were when the concept of 'sustainable development' was in its infancy, but the new material realities of science and the environment in the 21st century demand a re-engagement with their social consequences, something which is largely ignored by the (market) liberal consensus. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Volume (Year): 13 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1719 |
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.:
- Oluf Langhelle, 2000. "Sustainable Development and Social Justice: Expanding the Rawlsian Framework of Global Justice," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 9(3), pages 295-323, August.
- Ekins, Paul, 2003. "Identifying critical natural capital: Conclusions about critical natural capital," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 277-292, March.
- Wilfred Beckerman, 1994. "'Sustainable Development': Is it a Useful Concept?," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 3(3), pages 191-209, August.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:13:y:2005:i:4:p:212-227. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)or (Christopher F. Baum)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.