Routledge Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance

1st Edition

Edited by Agni Kalfagianni, Doris Fuchs, Anders Hayden


384 pages | 10 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138048287
pub: 2019-11-08
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The Routledge Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance provides a state-of-the-art review of core debates and contributions that offer a more normative, critical and transformatively aspirational view on global sustainability governance.

In this landmark text, an international group of acclaimed scholars provides an overview of key analytical and normative perspectives, material and ideational structural barriers to sustainability transformation and transformative strategies. Drawing on pivotal new and contemporary research, the volume highlights aspects to be considered and blind spots to be avoided when trying to understand and implement global sustainability governance. In this context, the authors of this book debunk many myths about all-too optimistic accounts of progress towards a sustainability transition. Simultaneously, they suggest approaches that have the potential for real sustainability transformation and systemic change, while acknowledging existing hurdles. The wide-ranging chapters in the collection are organized into four key parts:

• Part 1: Conceptual Lenses

• Part 2: Ethics, Principles and Debates

• Part 3: Key Challenges

• Part 4: Transformative Approaches

This Handbook will serve as an important resource for academics and practitioners working in the fields of sustainability governance and environmental politics.


"The heating planet and species extinction are now widely recognised existential threats to global sustainability (outside the US Republican Party) but the vast majority of policy responses ‘take the world order as a given and try to find solutions within established parameters’. This volume brings together a swathe of radical alternatives to the status quo, ranging from new planetary ethics to rethinking democracy, facing challenges from North-South inequality to financialisation, and proposing new approaches from consumption corridors to sustainable zero-growth – and many more. A timely and scholarly snapshot of a fast-moving crisis and the transformative responses it requires." -- Ian Gough, Visiting Professor, London School of Economics, UK

"The Routledge Handbook on Global Sustainability Governance brings much needed critical attention to the theories, ethics, conduct and practice of sustainability governance. Addressing vital questions of how to bring about transformations towards a more humane and sustainable society, I recommend it for its timeliness, breadth of coverage, and the quality of scholarship from both established and more junior academics." -- Peter Newell, Professor of International Relations, University of Sussex, UK

"The Routledge Handbook of Global Sustainability Governance brings together a set of essays that provide an essential guide to these turbulent times. Providing fresh thinking on key concepts and principles from power to responsibility, justice to ethics and questions of growth, sufficiency and what the good life entails, this handbook asks us to examine what transformative governance of our global challenges will entail. Working through a range of key problematics, including resource extraction, financialisation, consumption and population, this is indeed a Handbook for our current condition, one which will allow us to explore and interrogate how we have come to govern our environmental challenges towards particular ends and where the possibilities lie for shifting course."Harriet Bulkeley, Professor in the Department of Geography at Durham University, UK

"This volume is notable for its transformative perspective, challenging longstanding rhetoric around sustainability to suggest new thinking that directly confronts the need for deep changes in response to the planetary crisis. The contributions not only identify alternative pathways for societies and governance, but also critically engage their ethical implications. With sustainability thinking once again on the rise with the advent of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to guide global policy, the critical interventions of this volume are especially timely and important." -- Steven Bernstein, Professor of Political Science, and Co-Director of the Environmental Governance Lab, University of Toronto

Table of Contents

Introduction: Critical and Transformative Perspectives on Global Sustainability Governance

Anders Hayden, Doris Fuchs And Agni Kalfagianni

Part 1: Conceptual Lenses

1. Power and Legitimacy

Magdalena Bexell

2. Environmental Governance as Performance

Ingolful Blühdorn and Michael Deflorian

3. Engaging the Everyday: Sustainability as Resonance

John Meyer

4. Materiality and Non-Human Agency

Tobias Gumbert

5. Worlding Global Sustainability Governance

Cristina Yumie Aoki Inoue, Thais Lemos Ribeiro and Ítalo Sant' Anna Resende

Part 2: Ethics, Principles and Debates

6. Justice

Agni Kalfagianni, Andrea K. Gerlak, Lennart Olsson and Michelle Scobie

7. Representation of Future Generations

Peter Lawrence

8. The "Good Life" and Protected Needs

Antonietta Di Giulio and Rico Defila

9. Buen Vivir

Julien Vanhulst and Adrián Beling

10. Responsibility

Luigi Pellizzoni

11. Religion

Katharina Glaab

12. Sufficiency

Anders Hayden

Part 3. Key Challenges

13. North-South Inequity and Global Environmental Governance

Chukwumerjie Okereke

14. Growth and Development

Kerrin Higgs

15. The Mining Dilemma

Thomas Princen

16. Financialising Nature

Jennifer Clapp and Phoebe Stephens

17. Environmental Counter-Movements: Organized Opposition to Climate Change Action in the United States

Robert Brulle And Melissa Aronczyk

18. A Critique of Techno-Optimism: Efficiency Without Sufficiency is Lost

Samuel Alexander and Jonathan Rutherford

19. Consumer Values and Consumption

Naomi Krogman

20. The Population Challenge

Diana Coole

Part 4: Transformative Approaches

21. Beyond Magical Thinking

Michael Maniates

22. Democracy in The Anthropocene

Ayşem Mert

23. Living Well within Limits: the Vision of Consumption Corridors

Doris Fuchs

24. Beyond GDP: The Economics of Wellbeing

Dirk Philipsen

25. Beyond A-Growth: Sustainable Zero Growth

Steffen Lange

26. Work-Time Reduction for Sustainable Lifestyles

Jörgen Larsson, Jonas Nässén And Erik Lundberg

27. Decarbonisation

Richard Lane

28. Localism, Sharing and Care

Karen Litfin

Conclusion: Global Sustainability Governance – Really?

Doris Fuchs, Anders Hayden And Agni Kalfagianni

About the Editors

Agni Kalfagianni is Associate Professor at the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Doris Fuchs is Professor of International Relations and Sustainable Development and speaker of the Center for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research at the University of Muenster, Germany.

Anders Hayden is Associate Professor of Environmental Politics in the Department of Political Science at Dalhousie University, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
NATURE / Ecology
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
SCIENCE / Environmental Science