Emerging Economies and Challenges to Sustainability: Theories, strategies, local realities, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Emerging Economies and Challenges to Sustainability

Theories, strategies, local realities, 1st Edition

Edited by Arve Hansen, Ulrikke Wethal


304 pages

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The rise of emerging economies represents a challenge to traditional global power balances and raises the question of how we can combine sustainability with continued economic growth. Understanding this global shift and its impact on the environment is the paramount contemporary challenge for development-oriented researchers and policy makers alike. This book breaks new ground by combining scholarship on the role of emerging economies with research on sustainable development.

The book investigates how the development strategies of emerging economies challenge traditional development theory and sustainability discourses. With regional introductions and original case studies from South Asia, East Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, it discusses how to conceptualise sustainable development in the global race for economic prosperity. What characterises the development strategies of emerging economies, and what challenges are these posing for global sustainable development? How can emerging economies shed light on the global challenges, dilemmas and paradoxes of the relationship between socio-economic improvements and environmental degradation?

This book will be a valuable resource for researchers and postgraduates in development studies, geography, economics and environmental studies.


Unusually this is a book about almost everywhere except the West. From obvious countries like China and India to less obvious places such as Ethiopia and Peru, it explores the multi-faceted nature of 'sustainability'. Scholars with expert country knowledge detail the sustainability challenges facing the emerging economies of the world and the difficulty – perhaps even the impossibility – of successfully navigating a path that achieves growth without environmental decline. This is a book for anyone who seeks to go beyond the platitudes of sustainable development.

Jonathan Rigg, National University of Singapore

Coupling two critical issues of our time – sustainable development and the changing centre of gravity of the global economy – this researched, informative and wide-ranging book both informs and stimulates the reader. It will be of interest to area studies, environmental studies and political economy specialists, students and policy makers.

Raphael Kaplinsky, The Open University, UK

Table of Contents

Part 1: Introduction 1. Emerging Economies and Challenges to Sustainability Arve Hansen &Ulrikke Wethal 2.The 'Rise of the Rest' and the Revenge of 'Development': The emerging economies and shifts in development theory Benedicte Bull 3. Making Sense of Sustainable Development in a Changing WorldDesmond McNeill & Harold Wilhite Part 2: Asia 4. Miracles or Uneven Development? Asia in the contemporary world economy Pietro Masina 5. Ecological Modernisation and Dilemmas of Sustainable Development in China Hege Merete Knutsen & Xiaoxi Ou 6. Between Peasant Utopia and Neoliberal Dreams: Industrialisation and its discontents in emerging India Kenneth Bo Nielsen 7. Best of Both Worlds? The power and pitfalls of Vietnam's development model Arve Hansen 8. Indonesia: Neoliberal development in the context of decentralised patronage politics Gyda Marås Sindre Part 3: Latin America 9. Latin America's Decade of Growth: Progress and challenges for a sustainable development Benedicte Bull 10. Brazil, Land of the Future? Conservative development strategy and the urban challenges Einar Braathen & Yuri Kasahara 11. Agricultural change in Argentina: Impacts of the gene modified soybean revolutionKristi Anne Stølen 12. The Paradoxes of Chilean Economic Development: Growth, inequality, deindustrialisation and sustainability risksAndrés Solimano and Marianne Schaper 13. Mining, Development and Environmental Sustainabilty in Peru Jemima Garcia-Godos & Henrik Wiig Part 4: Sub-Saharan Africa 14. Between Emerging Economies and Protracted Conflict: Challenges to sustainability in sub-Saharan Africa Morten Bøås 15. Pro-Growth Challenges to Sustainability in South Africa Dianne Scott, Catherine Sutherland, Vicky Sim and Glen Robbins 16. Searching for Sustainability in Mozambique's Development Strategy Ulrikke Wethal 17. Botswana's Developmental State: Sustainability under threat? Ian Taylor 18. Ethiopia – Rapid and Green Growth for All? Axel Borchgrevink Part 5: Conclusion 19. Conclusion Arve Hansen & Ulrikke Wethal

About the Editors

Arve Hansen is a Research Fellow in interdisciplinary development studies and geography at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway.

Ulrikke Wethal is a Research Fellow in development and economic geography at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo, Norway.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Sustainable Development

This series uniquely brings together original and cutting-edge research on Sustainable Development. The books in this series tackle difficult and important issues in Sustainable Development including values and ethics; sustainability in higher education; climate compatible development; resilience; capitalism and de-growth; sustainable urban development; gender and participation; and well-being.

Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, the series promotes interdisciplinary research for an international readership. The series was recommended in the Guardian’s suggested reads for Development and Environment.

The series welcomes submissions from established authors in the field as well as from young authors. To submit proposals, please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy