Foundations of Science

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 361–365

Beyond Politization of Technology and Sustainability: A Plea for Visioning

Commentary

Abstract

Most protagonists of sustainable development ignore modern insights in the nature of technology, which has led to an emphasis on technological solutions. The notable exception is transition management. However, both social construction of technology and transition management have been criticized as ignoring distributions of power in society, and for not offering guidance in the choice of the most sustainable technologies. The reviewer criticizes this approach: the issue is not to choose the right technologies, but to address the root causes of unsustainability in society. In addition to politization of transition management the reviewer argues that strong visions are necessary to lead the way. Technologies could help to develop those visions.

Keywords

Sustainability Visioning Politization Social constructivism Instrumentalism 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ehrenfeld J. (2008) Sustainability by design. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  2. Paredis E. (2011) Sustainability transitions and the nature of technology. Foundations of Science 16(2–3): 195–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Quist J., Vergragt P. (2006) Past and future of back-casting: The shift to stakeholder participation and a proposal for a methodological framework. Futures 38(9): 1027–1045CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Quist, J. (2007). Backcasting for a sustainable future: The impact after 10 years, Ph.D. thesis, Delft University of Technology.Google Scholar
  5. Speth J. G. (2008) The bridge at the edge of the World: Capitalism, the environment, and crossing from crisis to sustainability. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  6. Vergragt P. (2009) CCS in the Netherlands: Glass half empty or half full?. In: Meadowcroft J., Langhelle O. (eds) Caching the carbon; the politics and policy of carbon capture and storage, chapter 8. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, pp 186–210Google Scholar
  7. Vergragt P. J., van Grootveld G. (1994) Sustainable technology development in the Netherlands; the first phase of the dutch STD program. Journal of Cleaner Production 2(3–4): 133–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Vergragt, P. J., Markusson, N., & Karlsson, H. (2011). Carbon capture and storage, bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, and the escape from the fossil-fuel lock-in. Global Environmental Change, 21(2), 282–292.Google Scholar
  9. Weaver, P., Jansen, L., van Grootveld, G., van Spiegel, E., & Vergragt, P. (2000). Sustainable technology development. Greenleaf Publishing, ISBN 1-874719-09-8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tellus InstituteBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations