288 pages, Tabs, charts
The idea of 'sustainable development' was given global prominence through the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987. Since then the concept has been heatedly debated, mostly from a critical point of view. There has been a general tendency to narrow the idea to cover only environmental 'sustainability', neglecting vital aspects of both global solidarity and inter-generational equity. The purpose of the present book is to elaborate the integrated nature of the concept as it was originally outlined in the World Commission report. Given the key role of Norway's Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, as head of the World Commission, it is appropriate that Norwegian social scientists attempt to develop the concept in a more constructive and pragmatic direction. The first step towards this goal is conceptual clarification of the original intent and interdependencies inherent in the concept. It is the opinion of the editors that the concept is both much more consistent and potentially much more radical than is frequently recognised. The book appears at a time when the commitments and accords from the Rio Earth Summit are being placed under increasing doubt. By presenting an integrated exposition of the underlying logic of sustainable development, the book aims to maintain and strengthen the concept's intellectual and moral appeal. While fully recognising the concept's weaknesses and ambiguities, the overall message of the book is that the concept is nonetheless the best available idea for achieving ecological balance with both global and generational equity.
'Each one is an expert in their field and provides an erudite and comprehensive discussion of the topic and the issues that arise.' - John Baines, International Journal of Environmental Studies
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