Sustainability Sciences: Political and Epistemological Approaches - Oxford Handbooks
Students gain the theoretical tools and historical background relevant to to International Relations; IR Sustainable Development in the 21st Century. Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying essay The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth identified the. This chapter, “Sustainability Sciences: Political and Epistemological this field as well as its historical development alongside environmental and political issues . An example is urban issues and their relationship to land use, mobility, urban .
We are living on an island in space with the nearest other planet 40, km away. For the foreseeable future, this small and precious planet is the only home we have. Yet according to the World Wide Fund for Nature WWF,if everyone in the world were to lead consumerist lifestyles like we do in the richest countries then we would need at least three planet earths to provide the necessary energy and resources.
Because we are already living in a climate changed world, the main discussion centres on how many degrees of warming will we have to contend with Lynas, Business as usual is not an option. In addition, it challenges the notion of the pre-eminence of the economy over other areas of social activity.
The economic lens through which we tend to look at the world these days is relatively recent — two hundred years ago religion and the state held much greater sway. Now it is surely time that we adopted a more relevant perspective for framing the twenty-first century — through the lens of social and ecological justice.
Such changes need not only education but also political will and commitment. After the first Earth Summit of in Rio de Janeiro, which drew up an extensive blueprint for sustainable development in the text of Agenda 21, education was seen as an essential element within it and commitments to education proliferated in the text. As governments were so slow to take the initiative, this role was mainly taken up by non-governmental organisations NGOs and committed activists.
Their work tended to have two strands: At an early stage, therefore, it could be said that there was a strong connection between ESD and political activism Wade, However, initial progress was slow in achieving this.
So, with the strong support of a few governments like that of Japan, lobbying was successful in giving education for sustainable development the status of a UN Decade from to Policy and practice in ESD have certainly developed considerably since the start of the decade.
Environmental politics - Wikipedia
In a number of countries there is now a developing government policy in areas of the formal education sector, from schools to higher education. In Denmark, for example, ESD has been introduced into key aspects of the curricula with a focus on children, young people and adult learners The Danish Ministry of Education and Children, In the Netherlands, ESD has become an important element of the formal curriculum from primary school to higher education Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, In Wales, ESD has been embedded in the curricula with a focus on schools, youth, further education and work based learning, higher education, and adult and continuing education Welsh Assembly, In addition, national legal requirements on sustainable development in relation to other sectors, such as the built environment, have created space and the demand for training at a range of levels.
With the deadline fast approaching for the achievement of the MDGs bythe concept of Sustainable Development Goals SDGs is also beginning to be discussed at international policy level and, if adopted, this could give further impetus to the ESD and Political Science agenda Sachs, Certainly, current educational practices have been found wanting.
David Orr reminds us that: Much of the same kind of education will only compound our problems. This is not an argument for ignorance but rather a statement that the worth of education must now be measured against the standards of decency and human survival — the issues now looming so large before us in the twenty-first century.
The challenge for ESD is to ensure that policy becomes practice and this is where Political Science can play an integral part. Education as presently constructed can be broadly divided into three orientations: However, this orientation tends to portray knowledge as mainly socially constructed and some say that it fails to give enough weight to the learning needed to live within the set biophysical boundaries of our world.
In addressing some of the issues relating to the politics of knowledge, Janse Van Rensburg identifies one key challenge for educators: This is a big challenge in an era when it seems that economic ways of knowing dominate all other narratives.Islam and Politics: Crash Course World History 216
Above all, ESD is concerned with change — in ways of thinking, being, acting — on all levels, from the personal to the political, from local to global.
Here it should be noted that ESD is not considered as a discipline in its own right but rather as an inter and cross disciplinary field. Up to now, we would argue, Political Science and ESD have had little interaction, to the detriment of both. Whilst there is evidence in Political Science literature of an engagement with the broader education debate Jackobi, ; Orr, there is little if any reference to ESD. Both Political Science and ESD are concerned with change at the level of policy and practice so there is real potential for symbiosis.
Yet there is little evidence of this within ESD literature. This is perhaps a reflection of a wider malaise with the education community generally where there seems to be a marked reluctance to engage with the language of political change. Yet at the same time there is a clear acknowledgement of education as a political football, kicked this way and that by prevailing political agendas.
However, what is often missing is any comprehensive analysis of how educationalists can engage with these agendas. In the case of ESD, we would argue that educators need some understanding of Political Science as this is essential in order to understand how best to effect change.
ESD is about change — but also about conservation — of our ecological life support system and of the social structures which help us flourish as human beings. ESD is about the future but also about the present and it takes account of the past.
ESD involves critical perspectives on change as many changes can be negative and destructive of human and ecological prosperity. The concept of sustainability, however, provides some basic guidelines for assessing whether change is good or bad. Sustainability is about making links in our complex world and often there are no easy answers.
Bringing together agendas for change on social justice and ecosystem health means that we need to explore different theories of the relationships between social justice and ecosystem health. ESD adopts a holistic approach to understanding the world, recognising the iterative nature of policy and practice and the linkages and mutual dependence of ecological, social, cultural, economic and political relationships. This is illustrated in Figure 2 below, which sets out the interaction and connectivity of the three key social sectors interacting within the social sphere, which itself is dependent on the global ecosystem.
The interaction and connectivity of three key social sectors from Parker, Both ESD and Political Science accept the importance of systems thinking when attempting to understand economic, political and social organisms and how to effect change. Yet ESD has some conceptual problems in determining how such change might take place.
Political Science can bring something to the table here. It can provide a context for ESD. There is potential in the following areas: Understanding political systems and the power relations within them ESD is limited in its understanding of the nature of power in political systems. Political Science can provide an explanatory framework and analysis of the levers of power, how power is developed and how it is used in a variety of ways to help shape the policy agenda.
It can also help us to understand which levers to pull and the bells to press as well as the limits of action Hague and Harrop, ; Heywood, It has the potential to offer insights into the factors that impact on the ability of pressure groups and social movements to effect change. William Ophuls posits that liberal democracies are unfit to address environmental problems, and that the prioritization of these challenges would involve a transition to more authoritarian forms of government.
The question arises as to whether the foundation of politics is morality or practicality. Deliberative democracy is a system in which informed political equals weigh values, information, and expertise, and debate priorities to make decisions, as opposed to a democracy based on interest aggregation.
Education for Sustainable Development and Political Science: Making Change Happen
Deliberative bodies composed of randomly selected representatives can draft environmental policies that have short-term costs without considering the political consequences for re-election. It is a post-humanist consideration of all matter that rejects arguments of utility that privilege humans. This politically relevant social theory combats inequality beyond the interpersonal plane.
New materialism encourages political action according to this world vision, even if it is incompatible with economic growth. Surveys trends and makes tentative forecasts for the coming decade regarding prices, supplies, biofuels, and food security. Valuable as a primary source. Reaffirms UN commitment to sustainability while placing emphasis on social issues such as racism and xenophobia.
Because of ideological differences, the United States did not send a full delegation or participate in drafting this declaration. Although legally nonbinding, the 21st-century goals outlined by this document concerning biodiversity, climate change, and sustainable development have continued to inform UN policy for nearly two decades.
Although it sets no mandatory limits on the emission of greenhouse gases and contains no binding enforcement mechanisms, the UNFCCC set the stage for the Kyoto Protocols and the Copenhagen Accord. World Bank Development Report Development and Climate Change. Accessibly written and well produced, featuring lucid charts, maps, and photographs. Useful as both an upper-division textbook and as a primary source on World Bank policy. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page.