VO Sustainable Development – Magic Bullet or Green Myth?

Lehre Sonntag, 01.10.2017

Twenty-five years after the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro 1992 the concept of Sustainable Development has been implemented in a broad range of policy areas at the international, national and local level and it has also been established in various academic contexts. However, the results remain ambiguous and the concept continues to be contested.

While the politicisation of environmental concerns often started from bottom-up social movements, it was especially the establishment of international policy instruments – as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992, the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, until the most recent agreement on the Sustainability Goals (SDG) – that gave rise to the expectation of reconciling developmental and environmental challenges and solving the ecological crisis via global environmental politics. In the meantime the geopolitical and political-economic context has shifted profoundly, the social inequalities and environmental challenges have exacerbated dramatically. The contradictory efforts to deal with climate change are only one recent example, which gave rise to diverging explanations whether the failure to initialise more substantial transformations was due to a lack of willingness of governments and individuals or rather due to more profound structural reasons.

The lecture series invites experts from different disciplines and backgrounds to present their experiences and perspectives. It traces the achievements, failures and contradictions of twenty-five years of global environmental politics and contextualises them in recent political-economic shifts. From there diverging explanations of previous failures as well as proposals for alternative approaches to more profound socioecological transformations will be discussed.Contributions by experts from: University of Vienna, Vienna University of Economics, Institute for Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austrian Foundation for Development Research (ÖFSE), Austrian Institute for Sustainable Development (ÖIN), University of Applied Science bfi Vienna




12 October 2017

Sustainable Development: Short history of an oxymoron

Ulrich Brand (University of Vienna)

Introduction to the Lecture Series: Alina Brad, Bettina Köhler (University of Vienna)

19 October 2017

Ecological economics – approaches to sustainable development

Sigrid Stagl (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

9 November 2017

Sustainable agriculture between food sovereignty, land grabbing and biotechnology

Christina Plank (Institute of Social Ecology), Irmi Salzer (ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria)

16 November 2017

Green technologies, resource extractivism and inequalities in global production networks

Isabella Radhuber (University of Vienna)

23 November 2017

Social Ecology and Political Ecology – approaches to sustainable development

Christoph Görg (Institute of Social Ecology)

30 November 2017

Socio-ecological transformation and de-growth

Daniel Hausknost (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

7 December 2017

Global political economy of inclusive and sustainable development in the global south

Werner Raza (Austrian Foundation for Development Research)

14 December 2017

State of Emergency? Green growth, postgrowth, and critiques of capitalism

Fred Luks (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

11 January 2018

National implementation processes of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Michael Obrovsky (Austrian Foundation for Development Research)

18 January 2018

International actors of sustainable development and their agendas

Christoph Müller (Austrian Institute for Sustainable Development)

25 January 2018

Sustainability studies and climate justice

Catherine Raúl (Institute for Sustainability Research and Action)

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