Sustainability : If It's Everything, Is It Nothing? book cover
2nd Edition

If It's Everything, Is It Nothing?

ISBN 9780815357162
Published April 15, 2020 by Routledge
216 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In this second edition, the authors present new developments in the sustainability discussion and argue that a new understanding of sustainability is needed if we are to truly serve future generations ecologically, economically, and equitably.

Despite the great flurry of activity around sustainability, the concept itself remains highly contested. This book argues that a new conceptualization of sustainability is needed if we are to achieve a healthful and sustainable environment for the long term. The authors examine the uses, misuses, and abuses of sustainability, and provide case studies of faux sustainability in practice. Seeking to redefine and clarify the concept and its application, they offer a new definition of sustainability – what they call neo-sustainability – to help guide policies and practices that respect the primacy of the environment, the natural limits of the environment, and the relationship between environmental, social, and economic systems.

Offering a comprehensive view of sustainability, this text is essential reading for all students and scholars in the field. It will also be of interest to environmental professionals and activists.

Table of Contents


1. A Brief History of Sustainability

2. Multidisciplinary Ways of Defining Sustainability

3. A Review of the Literature on Sustainability and its definitions

4. Government Responses to the Sustainability Challenge

5. Non-governmental Institutions and Sustainability

6. Neo-Sustainability


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Heather M. Farley is an Assistant Professor of Public Management at the College of Coastal Georgia, USA. She has held roles as a former University Sustainability Coordinator and a Researcher at Northern Arizona University and a Sustainability Coordinator for Sea Island in coastal Georgia.

Zachary A. Smith is a Regents’ Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources Policy and Administration in the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University, USA.