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What is "Sustainable Development"?

Listed author(s):
  • Tonci Kuzmanic

    (University of Primorska, Slovenia)

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    This paper attempts at changing the general perspective in thinking about the “sustainable development”. When saying “sustainable development” this usually means saying it primarily formally, so to speak “grammatically”. It is thus seen (not thought!) as a new-kindof- development (development stands here as a substantive, substance so to speak) with regard to “sustainability” which – within this saying – appears as the predicate “only”. The paper tries to argue from an opposite, anti-grammatical perspective which one can define as thinking and understanding »sustainability« itself irrespectively of the term of development. The reason for raising such kind of “anti-formal” and “anti-grammatical” methodological question is simple: while development is already an old “thing”, at least from the perspective of Western, and today global modernity which is basically, if not exclusively and only, about development, the very idea of sustainability is something opposite to that. It is radically postmodern and it definitely seems to be a new concept, idea and project(ion). It is a matter of course of sustainable-development-saying that the previous development (the modern one) is not feasible any more. If the idea of sustainability is appearing within the (language) game of development, it is obviously that development itself is somehow put aside. The radically new idea of sustainability (from approximately last half of the century) in this context is suggesting that the kind of the historical development that the West has been pushing about globally should somehow be changed. As a matter of fact, not just changed but rather changed in the new direction, in that of sustainability. The »direction towards the sustainability itself« is the very core of sustainability saying (language games). It is simultaneously the core of this paper while trying to rethink not only the development but the thinking about the sustainability itself. It argues that sustainability itself is a part and parcel of the idea or even an ideal of the postmodern development.

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    This chapter was published in: Tonci Kuzmanic , , pages 1301-1312, 2011.
    This item is provided by University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper in its series MIC 2011: Managing Sustainability? Proceedings of the 12th International Conference, Portorož, 23–26 November 2011 [Selected Papers] with number 1301-1312.
    Handle: RePEc:mgt:micp11:1301-1312
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