Endangering the Natural Basis of Life is Unjust: On the Status and Future of the Sustainability Discourse

Posted: 10 Jun 2012

See all articles by Christian U Becker

Christian U Becker

Colorado State University

Dieter Ewringmann

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Malte Faber

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas Petersen

Heidelberg University

Angelika Zahrnt

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 9, 2012

Abstract

The paper critically examines the status of the sustainability discourse and sustainability politics against the backdrop of considerations about the meaning of justice in the context of sustainability. We argue that the preservation of the natural basis of life is by itself a requirement of justice. However, the crucial role of the ecological dimension of sustainability has been neglected due to a problematic interpretation of the economic dimension, a limited understanding of justice, and an overemphasis of economic growth and growth politics. We propose to reposition the sustainability discourse and sustainability politics by prioritizing the long-term protection of the natural basis of life as the essential foundation of future development, welfare, and justice.

Keywords: Sustainability, justice, ethics, growth, welfare, politics, ecological economy

Suggested Citation

Becker, Christian U. and Ewringmann, Dieter and Faber, Malte and Petersen, Thomas and Zahrnt, Angelika, Endangering the Natural Basis of Life is Unjust: On the Status and Future of the Sustainability Discourse (June 9, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2080497 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2080497

Christian U. Becker (Contact Author)

Colorado State University ( email )

College of Business
Fort Collins, CO 80526
United States

Dieter Ewringmann

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Malte Faber

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Thomas Petersen

Heidelberg University ( email )

Grabengasse 1
Heidelberg, 69117
Germany

Angelika Zahrnt

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
390
PlumX Metrics