Rethinking Sustainability: Power, Knowledge, and Institutions
University of Michigan Press
Publication date: November 2009
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
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Bringing together the thoughts of economists, political scientists, anthropologists, philosophers, and agricultural policy professionals, this volume focuses on the issues of sustainability in development. Examining such topics as international trade, political power, gender roles, legal institutions, and agricultural research, the contributors focus on the missing links in theory and practice that have been barriers to the achievement of truly sustainable development. Any theory of sustainable development must take into account economic, social, and environmental dimensions. Until recently, the question "What is development?" was often answered predominantly from the economist's perspective, with high priority being assigned to expansion of economic output. Social, political, institutional, and ethical aspects have often been neglected. But now that sustainable development has become a broadly accepted concept, it is impossible to maintain a narrowly economistic view of development. For this reason, the varied perspectives offered by the contributors to this volume are crucial to understanding the process of development as it relates to environmental sustainability and human well-being. The selection of articles is meant to be stimulating and provocative rather than comp-rehensive. They are roughly divided between those dealing with broad theoretical issues concerning the economic, political, and social aspects of development (Part I) and those presenting more applied analysis (Part II). The common thread is a concern for examining which factors contribute to making development socially just and environmentally sound. Rethinking Sustainability will be of interest to economists and social scientists, development professionals, and instructors seeking to offer their students a broad perspective on development issues. Jonathan Harris is Senior Research Associate, Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University, as well as Adjunct Associate Professor of International Economics at Tufts University Fletcher School of Law.