Pursuing Sustainability: A Guide to the Science and Practice

Princeton University Press
Free sample

An essential guide to sustainable development for students and practitioners

Sustainability is a global imperative and a scientific challenge like no other. This concise guide provides students and practitioners with a strategic framework for linking knowledge with action in the pursuit of sustainable development, and serves as an invaluable companion to more narrowly focused courses dealing with sustainability in particular sectors such as energy, food, water, and housing, or in particular regions of the world.

Written by leading experts, Pursuing Sustainability shows how more inclusive and interdisciplinary approaches and systems perspectives can help you achieve your sustainability objectives. It stresses the need for understanding how capital assets are linked to sustainability goals through the complex adaptive dynamics of social-environmental systems, how committed people can use governance processes to alter those dynamics, and how successful interventions can be shaped through collaborations among researchers and practitioners on the ground.

The ideal textbook for undergraduate and graduate students and an invaluable resource for anyone working in this fast-growing field, Pursuing Sustainability also features case studies, a glossary, and suggestions for further reading.

  • Provides a strategic framework for linking knowledge with action
  • Draws on the latest cutting-edge science and practices
  • Serves as the ideal companion text to more narrowly focused courses
  • Utilizes interdisciplinary approaches and systems perspectives
  • Illustrates concepts with a core set of case studies used throughout the book
  • Written by world authorities on sustainability
  • An online illustration package is available to professors
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About the author

Pamela Matson is dean of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and the Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies at Stanford University. William C. Clark is the Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy, and Human Development at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Krister Andersson is professor of political science at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Mar 29, 2016
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9781400881215
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Sustainable Development
Nature / Ecology
Nature / Environmental Conservation & Protection
Political Science / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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This book draws on the expertise of faculty and colleagues at the Balsillie School of International Affairs to both locate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a contribution to the development of global government and to examine the political-institutional and financial challenges posed by the SDGs.

The contributors are experts in global governance issues in a broad variety of fields ranging from health, food systems, social policy, migration and climate change. An introductory chapter sets out the broad context of the governance challenges involved, and how individual chapters contribute to the analysis. The book begins by focusing on individual SDGs, examining briefly the background to the particular goal and evaluating the opportunities and challenges (particularly governance challenges) in achieving the goal, as well as discussing how this goal relates to other SDGs. The book goes on to address the broader issues of achieving the set of goals overall, examining the novel financing mechanisms required for an enterprise of this nature, the trade-offs involved (particularly between the urgent climate agenda and the social/economic goals), the institutional arrangements designed to enable the achievement of the goals and offering a critical perspective on the enterprise as a whole.

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

makes a distinctive contribution by covering a broad range of individual goals with contributions from experts on governance in the global climate, social and economic areas as well as providing assessments of the overall project – its financial feasibility, institutional requisites, and its failures to tackle certain problems at the core. This book will be of great interest to scholars and students of international affairs, development studies and sustainable development, as well as those engaged in policymaking nationally, internationally and those working in NGOs.
Every day, we are presented with a range of “sustainable” products and activities—from “green” cleaning supplies to carbon offsets—but with so much labeled as “sustainable,” the term has become essentially sustainababble, at best indicating a practice or product slightly less damaging than the conventional alternative. Is it time to abandon the concept altogether, or can we find an accurate way to measure sustainability? If so, how can we achieve it? And if not, how can we best prepare for the coming ecological decline?

In the latest edition of Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World series, scientists, policy experts, and thought leaders tackle these questions, attempting to restore meaning to sustainability as more than just a marketing tool. In State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible?, experts define clear sustainability metrics and examine various policies and perspectives, including geoengineering, corporate transformation, and changes in agricultural policy, that could put us on the path to prosperity without diminishing the well-being of future generations. If these approaches fall short, the final chapters explore ways to prepare for drastic environmental change and resource depletion, such as strengthening democracy and societal resilience, protecting cultural heritage, and dealing with increased conflict and migration flows.

State of the World 2013 cuts through the rhetoric surrounding sustainability, offering a broad and realistic look at how close we are to fulfilling it today and which practices and policies will steer us in the right direction. This book will be especially useful for policymakers, environmental nonprofits, and students of environmental studies, sustainability, or economics.
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