Sustainable Development: 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sustainable Development

2nd Edition

By Susan Baker


450 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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The current focus on sustainable development opens up debates surrounding our relationship with the natural world, about what constitutes social progress and about the character of development, both in the Global North and the Global South. The promotion of sustainable futures is taking on a new urgency in the context of climate change and biodiversity loss.

This concise and accessible text explores how the international community is responding to the challenge of sustainable development. It also investigates the prospect for, and barriers to, the promotion of sustainable development in high-consumption societies of the industrialised world, from the USA and the EU to the economies of transition in Eastern and Southern Asia. In Sustainable Development Baker considers the global impact of China’s industrial boom as well as how Chinese investments are shaping the prospects for sustainable development on the African continent. This global coverage is balanced by investigating how local action, ranging from the transition towns movement in the UK to the Green Belt movement in Kenya, can contribute to the pursuit of sustainable development.

The second edition has been extensively revised and updated and benefits from the addition of three new chapters: sustainable development in China; the governance of sustainable development; and sustainable production and consumption. Climate change and biodiversity management have also been expanded into full chapters.

Providing an up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of the issues surrounding the promotion of sustainable development, this unique, internationally-focused book combines a strong conceptual analysis with wide ranging empirical focus and a wealth of case material. Including summary points and suggestions for further reading, as well as web resources and an extensive bibliography, it is ideal for students, scholars and researchers in the fields of environmental sciences, politics, geography, sociology and development studies.


"The second edition brings scholarly and pedagogic clarity to the complex and contested problematique of sustainable development. Baker offers a analysis of the origins, dynamics, actors, governance dimensions, policy implications and theoretical debates around this concept which as she points out is and will continue to shape local and global politics in the 21st-century. It is written in an accessible and student-friendly style, in three parts covering theoretical/conceptual aspects of sustainable development; multi-level governance, including the international politics of sustainable development; and finally the promotion of sustainable development in the EU, eastern Europe and the global south. Baker's Sustainable Development will be the benchmark textbook on undergraduate courses for many years to come".

Professor John Barry, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast

For those seeking a clear, comprehensive and accessible introduction to sustainable development, look no further. Susan Baker’s second edition of Sustainable Development covers all the important topics and debates from a truly global perspective. It should be essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the greatest challenge of our time.

Professor Robyn Eckersley, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia

In this systematic, easy-to-read and comprehensive book, Susan Baker scrutinizes the concept of sustainable development and its implementation around the world across different economic sectors. The second edition of this popular book provides both students and researchers with in-depth insights into the multi-level challenges involved.

Professor Katarina Eckerberg, Department of Political Science, Umeå University, Sweden

Table of Contents

1. Introduction Part 1: Theoretical and Conceptual Exploration of Sustainable Development 2. The Concept of Sustainable Development 3. The Governance of Sustainable Development 4. Sustainable Production and Sustainable Consumption Part 2: International Engagement with Sustainable Development 5. Global Governance and UN Environment Summits 6. Key Global Concerns: Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss 7. The Local Level: LA21, Societal Engagement and Public Participation Part 3: The Promotion of Sustainable Development in Different Social, Political and Economic Contexts 8. High Consumption Societies: The Responsibilities of the European Union 9. Challenges in the Third World 10. Changing Times – The Countries in Transition in Eastern Europe 11. Conclusion: The Promotion of Sustainable Development: What Has Been Achieved

About the Series

Routledge Introductions to Environment: Environment and Society Texts

This series introduces core topics for environmental study and presents unparalleled interdisciplinary perspectives on issues of environmental concern. Focusing on human-environmental interrelationships, these concise, engaging, user-friendly texts respond particularly well to the demands of modular learning. Each text in the series features:

  • summaries of key concepts and contextual introductions to each topic
  • uniform, attractive, series design
  • informative diagrams illustrating key concepts and issues
  • annotated reading lists and end of chapter questions
  • lively global case-studies boxed throughout the text.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography