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Title (Primary) Re-conceptualizing sustainable development on the basis of the capability approach: a model and its difficulties
Author Lessmann, D.; Rauschmayer, F.;
Journal Journal of Human Development and Capabilities
Year 2013
Department UPOL;
Volume 14
Issue 1
Language englisch;
POF III (all) T19;
Keywords Capability approach; Sustainable development; Systemic level; Collective institutions; Dynamics
UFZ wide themes RU6;
Abstract This article sketches a re-conceptualization of sustainable development (SD) on the basis of Sen's capability approach (CA). The notion of sustainable development was developed as a compromise in a political process and has been reinterpreted (some say diluted) again and again over the last 20 years. When modelling the notion through the lenses of the capability approach, difficulties occur that are at the core of SD and of CA or that are due to their combination. This article shows why it is not easy to replace ‘needs’ in the Brundtland definition of SD with ‘capabilities’. In our model, the differences between systemic and individual levels become clear and herewith the necessity to include both when dealing with issues of SD. The most salient difficulties relate to the multidimensionality and dynamics on both levels. Confronted with these difficulties, demanding individuals to consciously choose sustainable actions seems to be heroic. We propose two ways to alleviate the cognitive and moral burden on individuals by concentrating on the natural environment and by introducing collective institutions. Both alleviations are far from evident, however; this concerns their justification as well as their operationalization.
ID 13561
Persistent UFZ Identifier https://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=13561
Lessmann, D., Rauschmayer, F. (2013):
Re-conceptualizing sustainable development on the basis of the capability approach: a model and its difficulties
J. Hum. Dev. Capab. 14 (1), 95 - 114