The “Social” in the Sustainable

  • Hanna Lempinen


The social dimensions of sustainability and sustainable development have been widely acknowledged as the most difficult to pin down, define, and operationalize. In this chapter, Lempinen introduces and comments on the most common approaches to what the social has been interpreted as entailing in this context: indicators and policy goals; procedural interpretations of social sustainability; and conceptual efforts to go beyond assessment and measurement to more situated, conceptually aware approaches of the social. The author provides a detailed, informative, and critical overview of the different ways in which “the social” in the sustainable has been addressed and assessed, both in the context of energy and in general, drawing special attention to the value biases and presuppositions inherent in different strands of sustainability thought.


Developmental sustainability Maintenance sustainability Procedural sustainability Social sustainability The social dimension Social sustainability of energy 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hanna Lempinen
    • 1
  1. 1.Aleksanteri InstituteUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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