Is sustainable development sustainable?

Andrew Blowers, Jan Boersema, Adrian Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This journal proclaims its concern with “the relationships between science, society and policy and a key aim is to advance understanding of the theory and practice of sustainable development”. We have certainly endeavoured to publish research articles, from scholars in the natural and social sciences, which put forward what our title calls an “integrative” approach. This integration is intended to be at once interdisciplinary, crossing not only disciplinary divides but also bringing together science and policy and policy and practice. And this integration is to be achieved through a focus on sustainable development as the integrating concept. But, it may be asked, has this concept any validity or utility as the leitmotif of a journal? Is it merely a routine recognition of a normative concept that is now pretty much axiomatic for environmental scientists and policy makers alike? Or, does the concept still retain sufficiently positive, purposive and practical connotations to fulfil its presumed role as an overarching goal of scientific understanding and political policy-making? The answer is, we suspect, a bit of both of these. It all depends on perspective, on value and viewpoint; in short, on what we think we mean by sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Integrative Environmental Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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