Can there be a common definition of sustainable development? Views on sustainable development range from those of the mainstream economist to the hardened environmentalist – via many shades of green. This book offers a clear overview of the debates and sets out the various theories, providing an accessible introduction for all who now need to understand how sustainable development affects their working practices. The text is structured around key questions on the concept of sustainable development: Does it define a starting point, a process, or the end-goal? Can it provide a coherent theory? Is it a workable concept in practice? Is it ‘balanced’ or does ‘balance’ form part of the solution? Mark Mawhinney explores the various strands of thought that claim to define sustainable development - as a concept, a theory or as a set of principles. He also highlights gaps in understanding that often arise and attempts to break down the barriers to a common understanding - redefining current concepts in terms that will help to progress the debate on sustainable development.
An overview; The 'traditional economist's' view of the debate; The 'environmental' arguments; Some of the shades in-between; Practical interpretations of the debate; Missing elements in the debate; Breaking down entrenched positions; Redefining the debate; References; Index