Sustainable Development as a Contested Concept

Michael Jacobs

in Fairness and Futurity

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780198294894
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599064 | DOI:
 Sustainable Development as a Contested Concept

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Here Michael Jacobs notes that sustainable development has come to mean all things to all people but argues this does not mean it has no theoretical or policy relevance. It is a ‘contested’ rather than an empty concept, and Jacobs identifies four ‘faultlines’ that produce two distinct conceptions of sustainable development which he calls ‘radical’ and ‘conservative’. The faultlines are: limits to growth, environmental protection, equity, and participation. Jacobs argues in favour of the radical conception.

Keywords: contestation; environmental protection; equity; limits to growth; participation; sustainable development

Chapter.  7758 words. 

Subjects: Environment

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