Evolving Concepts of Sustainability in Environmental Policy

Lamont C. Hempel

in The Oxford Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199744671
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:
Evolving Concepts of Sustainability in Environmental Policy


This article examines the evolution and application of sustainability concepts in environmental politics and policy, paying particular attention to the challenges of operationalizing and measuring sustainability in the highly dynamic environment of twenty-first-century politics and policy. It first surveys the concept's historical roots, and then examines the struggle to refine and apply the concept in contemporary policy analysis. It reviews the key policy initiatives that have incorporated sustainability language or contributed to its development within each branch of government. It then focuses on the pragmatic adoption of sustainability principles in policy making, culminating in a discussion of future directions and research needs.

Keywords: sustainability concepts; environmental policies; policy analysis; policy making

Article.  10792 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; US Politics

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