State of the World 2014

Governing for Sustainability

  • Worldwatch Institute

Part of the State of the World book series (STWO)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiv
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Michael Renner, Tom Prugh
      Pages 3-19
    3. D. Conor Seyle, Matthew Wilburn King
      Pages 20-28
  3. Political Governance

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 29-29
    2. John M. Gowdy
      Pages 31-40
    3. Monty Hempel
      Pages 41-52
    4. Richard Worthington
      Pages 53-62
    5. Peter G. Brown, Jeremy J. Schmidt
      Pages 63-71
    6. Antoine Ebel, Tatiana Rinke
      Pages 82-90
    7. Sam Geall, Isabel Hilton
      Pages 129-137
    8. Maria Ivanova
      Pages 138-151
  4. Economic Governance

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 163-163
    2. Thomas I. Palley
      Pages 174-180
    3. Evan Musolino, Katie Auth
      Pages 181-190
    4. Colleen Cordes
      Pages 203-214
    5. Sean Sweeney
      Pages 215-227
    6. Judith Gouverneur, Nina Netzer
      Pages 228-237
  5. Conclusion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 239-239
    2. Tom Prugh, Michael Renner
      Pages 241-252
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 253-294

About this book


Citizens expect their governments to lead on sustainability. But from largely disappointing international conferences like Rio II to the U.S.’s failure to pass meaningful climate legislation, governments’ progress has been lackluster. That’s not to say leadership is absent; it just often comes from the bottom up rather than the top down. Action—on climate, species loss, inequity, and other sustainability crises—is being driven by local, people’s, women’s, and grassroots movements around the world, often in opposition to the agendas pursued by governments and big corporations.

These diverse efforts are the subject of the latest volume in the Worldwatch Institute’s highly regarded State of the World series. The 2014 edition, marking the Institute’s 40th anniversary, examines both barriers to responsible political and economic governance as well as gridlock-shattering new ideas. The authors analyze a variety of trends and proposals, including regional and local climate initiatives, the rise of benefit corporations and worker-owned firms, the need for energy democracy, the Internet’s impact on sustainability, and the importance of eco-literacy. A consistent thread throughout the book is that informed and engaged citizens are key to better governance.

The book is a clear-eyed yet ultimately optimistic assessment of citizens’ ability to govern for sustainability. By highlighting both obstacles and opportunities, State of the World 2014 shows how to effect change within and beyond the halls of government. This volume will be especially useful for policymakers, environmental nonprofits, students of environmental studies, sustainability, or economics—and citizens looking to jumpstart significant change around the world.


Climate Environment Governance Species loss Sustainability

Authors and affiliations

  • Worldwatch Institute
    • 1
  1. 1.Worldwatch InstituteWashington District of ColumbiaUSA

Bibliographic information