Sustainable development means different things to different people. Most definitions imply an appropriate balance between economic, ecological and social developments, the achievement of human well-being for all, and the balance between current and future generations, and between local and global developments. Students are challenged to assess the multiple dimensions, interlinkages and consequent trade-offs involved in the field of sustainable development by examining most important concepts and theories regarding the environment-economy-society interface from various disciplines. Throughout the course, students will discuss sustainable development in relation to its challenges for (sustainability) science and policy-making.
Students will explore the emergence of the concept of sustainable development, and the associated changing perceptions on both the environment and (human) development. This also includes the emergence of sustainable development on the international agendas, in particular exploring the UN-process. Accordingly, the course focuses on selected key concepts and theories illustrating the social-economic-environmental interlinkages and trade-offs involved in the field of sustainable development. Finally, global climate change will be discussed as a prototype of a sustainability problem, one which is expressed by a strong interrelationship between ecological, social and economic dimensions, with important consequences for current and future generations. Furthermore there is the uncertainty about the routes that should be followed to find a solution for this global problem.
Doelstellingen van dit vak
- to explain the emergence of the concept of sustainability
- to recognize, analyze and explain the different worldviews and trade-offs at stake
- to apply their knowledge about relevant theories and concepts from different disciplines to gain a better understanding of the economic-ecological-social interrelations
- to adopt an interdisciplinary and integrative attitude towards the concept of sustainable development.