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Sustainable Development: A Transdisciplinary Overview of the Literature

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ABSTRACT The literature on sustainable development has burgeoned. Over the past decade, concern about sustainability has been raised within such a wide range of social and natural science discourses that a comprehensive overview of this work is hard to find. Literature reviews that are available typically have a disciplinary focus-such as ecological economics or environmental science-or they have an applied social science/ policy emphasis. This paper bridges the multiple discourses by arraying them as interlocked parts of a grand puzzle. Ten fields of discourse are identified and conceptually mapped. The review is critical, yet constructive. It outlines a political ecology of sustainable development by articulating four key challenges concerning: (1) holism and co-evolution; (2) social justice and equity; (3) empowerment and community building; and (4) sustainable production and reproduction.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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