Sustainable Development Discourse

    Project: Externally funded project

    Project Details


    Eighteen years after the release of the Brundtland report, we revisit the discourse of sustainable development. Our discourse analysis focuses on the study of two of the most influential recent texts on global sustainability issues: Natural Capitalism (Hawken, Lovins and Lovins, 2000) and Walking the Talk (Holliday, Schmidheiny and Watts, 2002). We contend that since the release of Our Common Future, the discourse of sustainable development is increasingly articulated around the capitalization of natural space. Far from being legitimated by modernist visions of nature as merely providing resources to be used in production processes, this shift has been operated through a postmodern, symbolic appropriation of the environment by Western economic and corporate interests. We seek to expose how the more ubiquitous Natural Capitalism, with its paradoxical underlying worldview that nature will become nature again if man reshapes it, is ‘implemented’ in the more corporate-oriented Walking the Talk through ‘local’ narratives that represent the transnational corporations as those managing the local environmental problems and thus globally sustaining our common ‘natural capital’.
    Effective start/end date01.09.200431.12.2007


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