اندیشه تخیلی و سیاست های توسعه پایدار
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29344||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Futures, Volume 41, Issue 4, May 2009, Pages 210–219
This article argues that utopian thought is a necessary condition for the politics of sustainable development. Since utopian thought has so far been constrained by some typically Western features from the era of modernity, this requires a shift that transcends the following three fundamental aspects: the notions of fixed truth, fixed territoriality and fixed final goals for politics. The article argues that the concept of global sustainable development can entail three new elements of utopian thought: the disintegration of fixed territoriality, a never-ending story, and prismatic blueprints. Using these elements, utopian thought can provide transformative power, so that politics and policymaking can meet contemporary global challenges to development and the environment.
Utopian thought has developed in conjunction with modernity. Utopian thought has drawn criticism, since it has been associated with aspirations for final political solutions, which inevitably lead to totalism. As well, it has also primarily been structured around the mindset of control, reason, and centralism, all of which have proven to be obsolete and in contradiction to the ethics of tolerance, pluralism, and dignity that has grown and spread rapidly around the world in the post-war era. In spite this heritage, we argue that utopian thought can foster important kinds of reflexivity that illuminate our constantly transformative politics, a reflexivity that we consider the most apt to meet contemporary global challenges to development and the environment. The concept of sustainable development has slowly but surely become accepted as a distinct element in international and domestic politics, and its overarching goal is to combine environmental protection with social and economic development in the long term. Sustainable development is now a goal accepted by the United Nations and many international organizations, including the European Union. In various ways it is included in the policies of most countries, rich or poor. At the same time, ever since the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, Our Common Future (1987), sustainable development has been criticized for being too conformist, too vague, and too mainstream. For some analysts, it has lost its potency—if it ever possessed any . In this article we argue that it is as a utopian concept that sustainable development can play an important part in politics; as such, it has a transformative power for politics and policymaking around the world. This requires a utopian thought that transcends three fundamental aspects of modernity: scientification or the notion of fixed truth, nationalism or the notion of fixed territoriality, and “blueprints” or the notion of fixed final goals for politics. The development of the formal utopian genre (“utopia proper”), as well as philosophical reflections on utopias and utopian thought, was not only simultaneous with the development of the project of modernity, but also closely linked to it. Utopian thought has been apparent in flourishing work on various ideologies, mainly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and also frequently evident in its corollary form, the dystopia—i.e. critique of current trends and hopes. Moreover, utopian thought and utopias have always addressed the moralities, social relationships, and technological projects that have either already been developed or have been conceivable as part of the future. Kumar, among others, argues that the utopian way of thinking about future alternatives is typically “Western”. Outside the Western world, there has not been a tradition of utopian thought: “Other varieties of the ideal society or the perfect condition of humanity are to be found in abundance in non-Western societies, usually embedded in religious cosmologies. But nowhere in these societies do we find the practice of writing utopias, of criticizing them, of developing and transforming their themes and exploring new possibilities within them” . Because of this close relationship between Western modernity and utopian thought, the latter is partly based on tenets of modernity that have turned out to be problematic. As will be developed in this article, these tenets concern the roles of, and relationships to, space, time, and knowledge.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
An important point of departure for our analysis was that utopias and utopian thought are necessary for the politics of sustainable development, but that they can also be deeply problematic. Utopian studies occupy a strong position in the humanities, but have hitherto rarely been connected with the politically prioritized policies of sustainable development. Utopias constitute a vital and important part of politics and social endeavours, not least in the field of environmental politics and its attempts to come to terms with the complex of environmental problems  and . Both Hall and Harvey have underlined the importance of utopian thought in politics and practice concerning environmental development and planning—especially in urban planning  and . It is also obvious that planning research contains much utopian thought and practice, not least in current works aiming to explore new, more sustainable ways to plan, build, and otherwise develop the socio-spatial environment ,  and . Socio-spatial planning and how we develop the socio-spatial environment, in cities and elsewhere, is doubtless crucial to implementing sustainable development. We conclude that sustainable development, as framed in UN policy making, contains three elements that challenge the three problematic elements of modern utopian thinking concerning space, time, and knowledge. We have labelled them the disintegration of fixed territoriality, a never-ending story, and prismatic blueprints. Many interpretations of sustainable development still contains an idea of a global fixed territoriality, visible in the notion of a universalizing agenda – a single objective – for global sustainable development. Nevertheless, how the concept has been used in UN policy making, particularly in implementation, allows for the disintegration of modernity’s view of a fixed territoriality for politics. Sustainable development is framed as a process, not as a static goal. Keeping the options open for the political goals and actions of future generations is fundamental to the intergenerational objective of the Brundtland Report and of UN declarations and action programmes. It could be argued that the suggested policies narrow the range of options available to future generations. Our point is that the intergenerational process perspective allows for a utopian thinking that distances itself from the notion of a final goal for politics. Despite its detailed action programme for state-supported economic growth and environmental protection, the Brundtland Report states that there is no one single blueprint for global sustainable development. International sustainable development policy debate has borne this out, providing a sample card of political alternatives. Looking back at the sustainability efforts of the 1990s, it is obvious that there was a huge gap between the ambitions expressed in political rhetoric and what was done in practice. For example, the concept and aims of sustainable development have frequently conveyed a message that there is no longer any conflict between ecological considerations, intensified technological development, and further economic growth ,  and . This new message, according to which economic, ecological, and social issues can be harmoniously brought together in the politics of sustainable development, stands, however in stark contrast to practical experience from the same years, in which conflicts related to these issues are legion, at both the national and international levels. The multitude of divergent and often also conflicting utopias, and the varying qualities of different kinds of utopian thought, can be assumed to be fundamental causes of the controversies and other difficulties emerging when the aims of sustainable development are to be implemented in practice, i.e. when words are to be turned into deeds. On the other hand, where would we go without utopian thinking on sustainable development? We need to enhance implementation toward achieving goals associated with sustainable development at the international level, goals such as poverty reduction, environmental protection, natural resource conservation, and improved health. However, to deepen public engagement in these endeavours, to stimulate debate as to what paths to choose and to strengthen the overall political imagination regarding alternative futures, the engagement should not lean too much on details and practical solutions, but rather emphasize comprehensive views of preferable futures. This could entail a more thorough and long-term integration of the above goals into the projects of sustainable development and of politics in general. There are definitely seeds in sustainability thinking that could eventually provide the impetus to overcome the limits utopian thought has brought with it from the era of modernity.