An Introduction to Sustainable Development: 3rd edition by Elliott

By Elliott

This 3rd version of a profitable, proven textual content presents a concise and well-illustrated creation to the guidelines in the back of, and the practices flowing from the suggestion of sustainable improvement.

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Aspects of these ideas, such as the importance of the free market and the priority given to the European experience, found renewed emphasis in the 1990s within structural adjustment programmes as detailed below. The optimism of the theorists of the 1960s, however, was generally not borne out by experience of development on the ground in that decade. By the 1970s, inequality between and within countries had in fact worsened. The empirical evidence concerning economic growth as measured by gross national product (GNP) suggested that, whilst change had been achieved, this ‘development’ was not shared equally amongst the populations of these nations.

Strong and 22 • What is sustainable development? enduring notions (as will be seen through subsequent chapters) of ‘participatory development’ emerged at this time in recognition of the shortcomings of top-down, externally imposed and expert-oriented research and development practice (Cooke and Kothari, 2001). Above all through the 1980s, it started to be understood that development needed to be sustainable; it must encompass not only economic and social activities, but also those related to population, the use of natural resources and the resulting impacts on the environment.

They suggest that since the environment is the basis of all economic activity, and of life itself, ‘it is surely only right that the quality and integrity of the environment be maintained for future generations’ (p. xix). Notions of ‘environmental justice’ are now a prominent part of contemporary discussions of the meaning and practice of sustainable development and take the moral concerns further: in addition to environmental protection, the concern is for how environmental bads (such as pollution) and goods (such as access to green space) are distributed across society.

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