of Sustainable Development
and Economic Dimensions
volume in the series
Issues in Economic Thought
Foreword by Amartya Sen
(Washington, DC: Island Press, 2001)
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sixth and final volume represents the capstone of
the Frontier Issues in Economic Thought series. It
provides a road map for development in the twenty-first
century, bringing together major contributions from
innovative thinkers in economics and related fields.
While drawing on themes from Volume 1 (ecological
issues), Volumes 2 and 3 (consumption and well-being),
and Volumes 4 and 5 (work and inequality), it breaks
new ground in pointing the way towards a synthesis
of theory and practice which offers hope for more
humane and ecologically sound patterns of development.
It is widely
acknowledged that the record of world economic development
shows two major failings:
- The benefits
of development have been distributed unevenly, with
income inequalities remaining persistent and often
increasing over time.
- There have
been major negative impacts of development on the
environment and on existing social structures. Environmental
damage is undermining the achievements of development
and could lead to the collapse of essential ecosystems.
At the same
time, a new model of development has been advancing
in theory and practice. Two major lines of thought
have converged to offer a new vision and better policy
guideposts for the future. Human development theory
has emphasized the fulfillment of basic needs and,
as 1998 Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen proposes, the
expansion of human capabilities rather than simple
GNP growth. Theorists of environmental sustainability
have developed new approaches to conserving natural
capital and bringing human economic needs into balance
with ecosystem potential. While at times these two
approaches have developed separately, there has been
an increasing recognition of their common ground.
Neither a world of grotesque inequality nor a world
of consumption at the expense of the environment can
be sustainable. But solutions exist to both problems,
and they are mutually reinforcing.
presents the best thinking on both theory and practice
for socially and environmentally sustainable development.
It summarizes 70-75 leading articles and book chapters,
with integrative review essays identifying the major
themes. Topical sections include the economics of
environmental sustainability; social dimensions of
sustainability; global perspectives and global integration;
population and urbanization; natural capital; energy
and material use; corporate responsibility; and local,
national, and global institutions and strategies for
Like the previous
volumes, this book will be an invaluable handbook
for scholars in a variety of development-related fields.
In addition, this volume will be especially appropriate
for use in college and graduate courses. A special
effort is being made to emphasize accessible presentation
of data and case studies, making this an invaluable
text for the student seeking an in-depth treatment
which spans disciplinary perspectives and deals with
the issues in depth. An extensive bibliography rounds
out the volume, so that both scholars and students
will find this to be the most comprehensive text available
on sustainable development issues.
Working Paper by Jonathan M. Harris,
"Basic Principles of Sustainable Development"
Early comment on A Survey of Sustainable Development:
Social and Economic Dimensions:
of articles is admirable. The ten sections contain
well-chosen material, and overall they show a formidable
knowledge of the literature and command of the inter-connections
among the various disciplines." Salah El Serafy, former
Senior Adviser, Economic Advisory Staff, The World
of key issues in environmental economics is very comprehensive."
Jonathan Fox, Associate Professor of Social Science,
University of California at Santa Cruz
this provocative and exciting bringing to one volume
many of the different issues in the economics and
politics of sustainability." John C. Hammock, Associate
Professor, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy;
Director, Tufts University Feinstein International
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