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The 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris (COP21), December 2015, reached a consensus to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, including by “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change” (UN 2015: 22). The agreement has to pave the way for rules, modalities, and procedures and all Parties have to “recognize the importance of integrated, holistic and balanced non-market approaches being available to Parties to assist in the implementation of their nationally determined contribution, in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in a coordinated and effective manner, including through, inter alia, mitigation adaptation, finance, technology transfer and capacity building, as appropriate” (UN 2015: 24). Of interest to note is that sustainable development and poverty eradication seem to be presented as two sides of the same coin.

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Les emprunts de Mauss à la bibliothèque universitaire de Bordeaux

la genèse d’une « imagination sociologique »

Nicolas Sembel

Mauss was a student at Bordeaux between 1890 and 1895, and this discussion of his university library loans directly complements an earlier article on those of Durkheim, who taught there from 1897 to 1902. Mauss worked hand in glove with his uncle, and although the profiles of their library use were quite different, all the material borrowed by Mauss was closely related with material amongst Durkheim’s loans. Archival evidence brings out how Mauss prepared for the agrégation in philosophy in a way that went well beyond the examination itself, indeed, that in effect transcended philosophy, and that included a year at the Sorbonne that was crucial for the future. If Durkheim showed a methodological imagination – drawing on a variety of disciplines, albeit largely through a ‘hidden’ reading of uncited references – in order to elaborate a sociological approach for his time, Mauss showed a sociological imagination in an effort, in parallel with his academic commitments, to develop his uncle’s work straightaway. Their close collaboration with one another during this period is a platform for reconsidering the nature, up to 1914, of the intellectual link between Mauss and Durkheim, as two sociologists who were above all separated by a ‘chronological’ gap, who occupied two different positions that, while helping to explain disagreement, made possible their project of disciplinary ‘conquest’ begun at Bordeaux, and who, lastly, produced the same general sociology based on two related approaches. My conclusion returns to their Bordeaux ‘moment’ and the veritable symbolic blitzkrieg they conducted there.

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“Living Well Rather Than Living Better”

Measuring Biocentric Human-Nature Rights and Human–Nature Development in Ecuador

Johannes M. Waldmüller

Drawing on the first attempt worldwide to implement human rights indicators at the national level in Ecuador (2009–2014), as well as on a critical review of the uneasy relationship between human rights and human development discourses, this article calls into question the prefix “human” in contemporary human development and human rights thinking. By alternating case study and reflection, it argues that a systemic and biocentric focus on human–nature relationships, extending the concepts of capabilities and functionings to ecosystems and human–nature interactions, is important for designing adequate tools for human–nature development, monitoring and for moving beyond ascribing merely instrumental value to nature. In order to shift the common understanding of human rights and human development from anthropocentric frameworks toward a more realistic biocentric focus, a focus on life as such is proposed, including inherent moments of arising and passing that express the necessary limitations to all human conduct and striving.

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Measuring the Sustainability Performance of Our Decisions

The Best Practice Price Sustainability Metrics

H. J. (Huub) Lenders

Private and societal costs have their origin in the classic and neo-classic era. The market, based on private costs, ignores externalities, while actors fail to gain access to information on societal costs, causing a gap. The best practice price (BPP), a sustainability metric, can fill this information gap. Based on science and the weighted opinions of stakeholders, best practices for basic production factors such as land, labor, and natural resources are identified and their costs calculated. Producers can use these data to calculate the BPP of their products. Besides the market price (the price to be paid), the BPP is mentioned on the invoice and price tag as representing the costs of production according to the best practices. The ratio of market price (MP) to the BPP ‒ the BP ratio (BPR) – makes comparison of different products possible. Using the BPR, producers, public entities, and consumers can set goals for sustainable production or consumption.

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Social Justice through Enterprises

The End of the 1972/1973 Conjuncture? A Legal Perspective

Hagen Henrÿ

The article begins with reported data on social and economic imbalances and their negative effects on sustainable development. The state, the social partners, and enterprises such as cooperatives formerly organized democratic participation as the central mechanism through which social justice regenerates. Globalization makes them inoperative. That is why we have to reconsider the role of enterprises in general. Their responsibilities under the Global Compact and similar measures are not sufficient, unless they are made legally binding and are complemented by laws that link their structure to the aspects of sustainable development. The article singles out cooperatives and points to their features being approximated through legislation with the features of capitalistic companies, which negatively affects their sustainable development performance. The article concludes with remarks on the challenges for legislators, not least the outdated notion of competitiveness and a radically changing concept of enterprise.

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Sustainable Forest Management

The Role of Government Agencies, NGOs, and Local Communities in Western Australia

Leonie van der Maesen and Timothy Cadman

This article details the engagement by the Department of Physical Geography of Utrecht University in the Netherlands with rural communities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to assist them in gaining a better understanding of the environmental impacts of the management practices of the governmental forest authorities of the state of Western Australia in pursuit of international timber exports. The study commences with a description of the unique characteristics of WA’s forest communities. It continues with an account of governmental international forest policy norms and the discourse of sustainable forest management (SFM). This is followed by a delineation of the interactions between the academic community and civil society in their engagement with governmental departments in arguing the case for conservation. The final section makes some concluding observations on the lessons that can be learned from the failure of the state government to ensure the sustainable management of the forests of Western Australia.

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Une hypothèse sur l’arrivée de Durkheim à Bordeaux

les « requêtes durkheimiennes » d’Hamelin (mars–avril 1887)

Nicolas Sembel

Le propos de cette note de recherche est d’éclairer un peu plus l’origine de l’arrivée de Durkheim à Bordeaux lors de sa nomination sur un poste universitaire en 1887. Promulgué par arrêté le 20 juillet 1887, effectif lors de la rentrée suivante d’octobre, ce poste de philosophie est centré sur l’éducation (« science sociale et pédagogie ») et constitue un résumé à lui seul de la complexité administrative de l’enseignement supérieur (Gautherin 2002, Callède 2011). Il sera renouvelé annuellement sept fois, puis « sans limite » à partir de juillet 1894. Durkheim, parti en 1902 à Paris pour suppléer F. Buisson (devenu député) pendant 4 ans, jusqu’en 1906, sera remplacé par Gaston Richard également pendant 4 ans. Leur double titularisation aura lieu cette année-là. En 1930, à la retraite anticipée d’un an de Richard, il est destiné à Théodore Ruyssen, âgé de plus de 60 ans, qui ne l’occupe finalement pas, et est attribué, via le Doyen, par des disciples de Durkheim (Davy, Mauss...) et de Hamelin (Darbon, Daudin...) un peu démunis, à Max Bonnafous. Ce dernier se consacre assez vite à sa carrière politique (commencée dans le socialisme et terminée dans la Collaboration), prenant à nouveau de court les gate-keepers du poste. Passeront également par ce poste de Bordeaux Georges Gurvitch, lui aussi rapidement parti, ou Raymond Aron, encore plus rapidement, après six mois.

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Feng Hao

The coal industry exercises a pervasive influence upon mining communities in Appalachia even though it makes minimal contributions to employment. Miners rarely participate in movements that fight against coal companies for better working conditions. One explanation for this paradox is the depletion of social capital. In this article, I first use the existing body of literature to build a theoretical framework for discussing bonding social capital. Second, I analyze how the United Mine Workers of America in Harlan County, Kentucky at the beginning of the twentieth century worked to generate social capital. The results show that these coalfield residents demonstrated a high degree of social capital in terms of a strong shared sense of reliability and a dedication to collective activities and intimate networks. The union during that period engaged in strategies that were instrumental in creating this high level of social capital: holding regular meetings, organizing collective actions, promoting collective identity, and electing charismatic leaders.

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A. H. J. (Bert) Helmsing

The concept of social entrepreneurship and enterprise has enjoyed a meteoric rise. Its appeal extends over a broad ideological spectrum, and it embraces a range of activities, from solidarity economy to changes within the capitalist market economy. However, the growing popularity of social enterprise has not gone unchallenged. Some see it as the privatization of social choices that belong in the public and civic domain. This article asks: How is the social constituted in social entrepreneurship? After reviewing why social entrepreneurship has become an issue and exploring its various definitions, it argues that a dominant current in the social entrepreneurship literature glorifies the individual entrepreneur while underemphasizing the importance of social processes. Social enterprise is dependent on the social entrepreneur’s civic engagement in mobilizing support. This engagement is critical for the economic, social, and political sustainability of the social enterprise. For social entrepreneurship to enjoy success in a sustained manner, it must first and foremost be “social.”

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Editorial

Theorizing the Social

According to Leisering in his editorial in this journal, the idea of the “social” not only concerns social services as found in textbooks on social policy, it also “reflects a culturally entrenched notion of the relationship between state and society – a recognition of the tension between the ideal of political equality and socio-economic inequality, and of a collective responsibility by the state for identifying and redressing social problems” (Leisering 2013: 12). Theorizing “social quality” began in Europe at the end of the 1990s, in reaction to the increasing tendency to reduce the European Union’s operation to an “economic project.” In an ideological sense this reduction was legitimated by decoupling the economic dimension from the socio-political and sociocultural dimensions and leaving the latter two to the authority of the EU member states. The presupposition on the part of neoclassical economics and mainstream political and sociological studies of a duality between “the economic” and “the social” paved the way for this move. Therefore social quality scholars started to theorise ‘the social’ anew to go beyond the duality of the economic and the social In practice, nation-based policies became subordinated to the European-oriented financial and economic politics and policies that were being used to address the globalization of production and reproduction relationships (Beck et al. 1997). This shift became seriously strengthened by the revolutionary development and application of new communication technologies.