Title

The Manifestation of Sustainable Development and Issue of Sustainability in Development Discourse: A Comparative Study of Ideological & Practical Perspectives

Publication Date

1-1-2004

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Kanthie Athukorala

Abstract

This study compares the theories and practices of sustainable development/ sustainability through a study of some the significant writings on sustainable development and the issue of sustainability and through interviews with development practitioners.

Sustainable development is a nice-sounding concept, but what does it mean? In the developed world, particularly in the United States (US), any organization that wants to appear to be politically correct will use the term sustainable or sustainable development in its marketing strategies. Colleges and graduate schools offer degrees in sustainable development, but are they really teaching their students how to practice sustainable development in the work that follows their graduation?

The issue of sustainable development confronts us with a plurality of perspectives and logic, a plurality of spatial and temporal scales, and a variety of avenues that are all considered part of the larger puzzle that are difficult to reconcile.

The research showed that the entire concept of sustainable development is losing its real meaning. Those who strive to practice it are encountering ambiguities in the concept's interpretation and application. Thus, sustainable development is a complex conceptual structure that reflects a variety of interpretations and applications. It is clear from the research that the concepts and scope of sustainability and sustainable development need to be more accurately defined and applied.

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations

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