A New World-System: From Chaos to Sustainability examines the present crisis in the social and ecological environment that is producing profound, potentially catastrophic challenges to the planet and humanity and outlines a process for moving forward to address these critical issues.
This book is a cautionary interpretation of the present and vision for the future. Unlike other books on this or allied subjects that are focused singularly, Part 1 surveys the five major threats facing humanity today: climate change, inequality and poverty, new technologies, migration, and globalization. It approaches the challenge of integrating these phenomena into a global picture from a systems perspective rather than taking a purely reductionist approach to understanding what is occurring in the world today. Part 2 moves from identifying the problems to solving them, with chapters examining the ability of the present world-system to address these issues and outlining a process for action. The book concludes by discussing what could follow capitalism as a social organizing strategy and, perhaps more importantly, the consequences to the planet if we do not construct a new world-system.
This book is essential reading for students and scholars of sustainable development, climate change, environmental studies, rural and urban planning, environmental psychology, political economy, sociology, social policy, leisure studies, and environmental politics. More broadly, it is a vital resource for all those interested in building a sustainable society.
Table of Contents
Part 1 Forces Driving Change Chapter 1 Introduction: Humanity’s Next Test Chapter 2 Climate Change: The Elephant in the Room Chapter 3 Technology: The Trojan Horse Chapter 4 Poverty: The Great Unequalizer Chapter 5 Globalization: The Eye of the Storm Chapter 6 Migration: The Clash of Civilizations Part 2 Processes of Change Chapter 7 Recent Change Experiments Chapter 8 The Context for Social Change Chapter 9 Theories of Change Chapter 10 Planning for Change Chapter 11 Meeting the Challenge: From Chaos to Sustainability
Donald G. Reid is University Professor Emeritus in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) at the University of Guelph in Canada. He is an international scholar whose work focuses on sustainable development, social planning, poverty, community development, leisure, and tourism. His earlier book, Social Policy and Planning in the 21st Century: In Search of the Next Great Social Transformation, was published by Routledge in 2017.