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Sustainability Metamorphosis

An Inconvenient Change

Erland Mårald and Janina Priebe

The institutionalization of sustainability led by economic, social, and science-based principles is a familiar narrative of success. After World War II, fears of overpopulation, natural resource degradation, and nuclear war overshadowed the future

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Can Consumer Demand Deliver Sustainable Food?

Recent Research in Sustainable Consumption Policy and Practice

Cindy Isenhour

From Slow Food and farmers' markets to ecolabels and fair trade an unprecedented number of consumer-based alternative food movements have risen in response to concerns about the environmental and social effects of industrialized agriculture. Some research suggests that these movements are successful in their efforts to reconnect communities, demystify global food chains, and produce sustainable foods, which are healthier for the planet and human bodies. Yet other scholars argue that the contemporary focus on consumer responsibility in policy and practice indicates much more than a process of reflexive modernization. The devolution of responsibility to consumers and the dominance of market-based solutions, these scholars argue, reflect the growing influence of neoliberal environmental governance. From this perspective these movements are naive in their assumption that consumers have the power necessary to overcome the structural barriers that inhibit significant change. These critics argue that the focus on consumer responsibility excludes those without access to consumer choice, reproduces social hierarchies, and fails to deliver the political and redistributive solutions necessary to achieve sustainability. Drawing on research across the social sciences this article surveys the existing evidence about the effectiveness of consumer-based movements in their attempts to create sustainable food systems.

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Culturally Grounded Indicators of Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems

Eleanor Sterling, Tamara Ticktin, Tē Kipa Kepa Morgan, Georgina Cullman, Diana Alvira, Pelika Andrade, Nadia Bergamini, Erin Betley, Kate Burrows, Sophie Caillon, Joachim Claudet, Rachel Dacks, Pablo Eyzaguirre, Chris Filardi, Nadav Gazit, Christian Giardina, Stacy Jupiter, Kealohanuiopuna Kinney, Joe McCarter, Manuel Mejia, Kanoe Morishige, Jennifer Newell, Lihla Noori, John Parks, Pua’ala Pascua, Ashwin Ravikumar, Jamie Tanguay, Amanda Sigouin, Tina Stege, Mark Stege, and Alaka Wali

Indigenous and other place-based, local communities increasingly face an assortment of externally codified development and sustainability goals, regional commitments, and national policies and actions that are designed, in part, to foster adaptation

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Daoist Political Ecology as Green Party Ideology

The Case of the Swedish Greens

Devin K. Joshi

in the traditional sense is not possible on a planet with limited resources,” the Greens support ecological economics, alternative indicators of progress, and measures to make human societies sustainable (ibid: 18). Their program also spells out their

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Mino-Mnaamodzawin

Achieving Indigenous Environmental Justice in Canada

Deborah McGregor

relationships with all of Creation, thereby establishing a sustainable and just world. In this way, some of the seemingly differing goals of Indigenous peoples (e.g., reconciliation, self-government, self-determination, and sovereignty) are seen as pathways to

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New Horizons for Sustainable Architecture

Hydro-Logical Design for the Ecologically Responsive City

Brook Muller

The Hydrological Turn: Reenlisting the Surfaces and Systems of the City If a first generation of sustainability-minded architects focused on energy conservation and consequent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, a most critical undertaking to be

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Sustainability and Asia

Els van Dongen and Hong Liu

What is the added value of investigating the contested concept of “sustainability” in tandem with the geographical marker of “Asia” in today’s world? To answer this question, we need to return to the formulation of the problematique of “sustainability” and “sustainable development” several decades ago. The Our Common Future report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED)—also known as the Brundtland Commission—put forward the most commonly recognized and most frequently used definition of “sustainable development” (SD) in 1987.1 Development could be made sustainable, so the report stated, “to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED 1987: 15). The report further proclaimed that there were limits to development, but that improvements in technology and social development could “make way for a new era of economic growth” (ibid.).

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Explaining sustainable regional integration to my parents

Zenyram Koff Maganda

I have been immersed in sustainable development and regional integration since I was a baby through the activities of the RISC Consortium. I have met people coming from different parts of the world to discuss their regions and how they affect

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Changing Approaches to the Future in Swedish Forestry, 1850–2010

Erland Mårald and Erik Westholm

could be as much as 420 years. Forest politics have been engaged with the futures dimension for centuries, and in the eighteenth century, forest management explicitly addressed the long turnover periods. An early form of the sustainability concept was

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Social Sustainability Requires Social Sustainability: Procedural Prerequisites for Reaching Substantive Goals

Magnus Boström, Åsa Casula Vifell, Mikael Klintman, Linda Soneryd, Kristina Tamm Hallström, and Renita Thedvall

The synergies and trade-offs between the various dimensions of sustainable development are attracting a rising scholarly attention. Departing from the scholarly debate, this article focuses on internal relationships within social sustainability. Our key claim is that it is difficult to strengthen substantive social sustainability goals unless there are key elements of social sustainability contained in the very procedures intended to work toward sustainability. Our analysis, informed by an organizing perspective, is based on a set of case studies on multi-stakeholder transnational sustainability projects (sustainability standards). This article explores six challenges related to the achievement of such procedures that can facilitate substantive social sustainability. Three of these concern the formulation of standards and policies, and three the implementation of standards and policies. To achieve substantive social sustainability procedures must be set in motion with abilities to take hold of people's concerns, frames, resources, as well as existing relevant institutions and infrastructures.