توسعه پایدار و رفاه اجتماعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|28994||2000||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Ecological Economics, Volume 32, Issue 3, March 2000, Pages 481–492
Sustainable development is a normative concept which involves trade-offs among social, ecological and economic objectives, and is required to sustain the integrity of the overall system. This is usefully formalized in terms of a social welfare function which is based on an aggregate of individual preferences and, as a prerequisite of intergenerational equity and overall system integrity, on a set of sustainability constraints. A ‘sustainability-based social value function’ is proposed to integrate these issues, and to go beyond traditional conceptions of sustainability that are either based on a value principle of maintaining some aggregate of capital (‘weak sustainability’), or stationary-state criteria of maintaining social, ecological and economic assets constant over time (‘strong sustainability’). Along with individual preferences and macroeconomic objectives, the proposed welfare function integrates principles of basic human needs (‘critical economic capital’), integrity of the ecosystem (‘critical ecological capital’) and the socio-cultural system (‘critical social capital’). This implies restrictions of the social opportunity space within which sustainable development can proceed and the new value function is defined.
Sustainable development encompasses economic, social, and ecological perspectives of conservation and change. In correspondence with the WCED (1987), it is generally defined as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ This definition is based on an ethical imperative of equity within and between generations. Moreover, apart from meeting the basic needs of all, sustainable development implies sustaining the natural life-support systems on Earth, and extending to all the opportunity to satisfy their aspirations for a better life. Hence, sustainable development is more precisely defined as ‘a process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development, and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations’ (WCED, 1987: 46). This definition involves an important transformation and extension of the ecologically-based concept of physical sustainability to the social and economic context of development (Adams, 1990). Thus, terms of sustainability cannot exclusively be defined from an environmental point of view, or on the basis of attitudes. Rather, the challenge is to define operational and consistent terms of sustainability from an integrated social, ecological, and economic system perspective. This gives rise to two fundamental issues that need to be clearly distinguished before integrating normative and positive issues in an overall framework. The first issue is concerned with the objectives of sustainable development; that is, ‘what should be sustained’ and ‘what kind of development do we prefer’. These are normative questions that involve value judgments about society’s objectives with respect to social, economic, and ecological system goals (cf. Barbier, 1987, Munasinghe, 1993 and Khan, 1995). These value judgments are usefully expressed in terms of a social welfare function which allows an evaluation of trade-offs among the different system goals. The second issue deals with the positive aspect of sustainable development; that is, the feasibility problem of ‘what can be sustained’ and ‘what kind of system we can get’. It requires one to understand how the different systems interact and evolve, and how they could be managed. Formally, this can be represented in a dynamic model by a set of differential equations and additional constraints. The entire set of feasible combinations of social, economic and ecological states describes the intertemporal transformation space of the economy in the broadest sense. To date, various definitions and stationary-state criteria of sustainability have been proposed. Many writers have been concerned with partial questions, such as technological assumptions and the substitutability of natural resources in economic transformation processes, and the resilience and criticality of ecological processes (cf. Pearce et al., 1994, Turner et al., 1994 and Atkinson et al., 1997). But, the social dimension did not receive the same attention, and has not adequately been integrated into formal analysis. Moreover, positive aspects of feasibility and the normative content of sustainable development have not been clearly distinguished. Given these circumstances, the aim of this paper is to elaborate a social value function which is compatible with the general objective and system requirements of sustainable development. In the next section, I briefly review some fundamental principles of sustainability from an ecological-economic perspective. In Section 3, I present an extension of these principles to the social context, and provide a formal approach which includes distributional concerns and population growth. In Section 4, I address principles of basic human needs, and criticality of ecological and social capital. Building on this background, I formulate a ‘sustainability-based social value function’, which integrates individual preferences and system requirements of sustainable development. Concluding remarks about the use of this new value function and the feasibility of sustainable development follow in Section 5.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Sustainable development is a normative concept which embraces social, ecological and economic dimensions of conservation and change. It implies trade-offs across different objectives of development, and is required to sustain the integrity of the overall system. This involves a value principle which is based on the concept of weak sustainability and a set of minimum requirements of sustainable development. This concept is usefully formalized on the basis of a social welfare function which is defined as an aggregate of individual preferences. But, to comprehensively address the challenge of sustainable development, the application of this welfare function must be restricted by a set of minimum sustainability requirements. The latter are not defined as stationary-state (‘strong sustainability’) criteria of economic, social or ecological sustainability. Rather, they refer to some thresholds of criticality that are integrated in the proposed sustainability-based social value function. This confined value function provides an approach which goes beyond traditional conceptions of sustainability. It integrates principles of basic human needs (‘critical economic capital’), ecosystem resilience (‘critical ecological capital’), and integrity of the socio-cultural system (‘critical social capital’), along with individual preferences, income growth and macroeconomic stability. Population growth is generally seen as major threat to sustainable development because it involves pressure upon the overall system. This is a problem of feasibility. But, as the analysis in this article shows, it has no dominant impact on the formulation of the weak sustainability criterion. By contrast, the levels of critical capital impose limits upon the opportunity space within which sustainable development can proceed. The sustainability-based social value function is only defined within these limits. It implies a value principle which theoretically anticipates potentially irreversible changes at the boundaries of the opportunity space. As a consequence, it is more sensitive to changes in the overall system than are traditional measures of weak sustainability. The value of the function is determined by the present state of development (per-capita income, macroeconomic stability, social capital, and environmental quality), population size, and long-term requirements of the overall system. Marginal values of any change close to these limits are astronomically high. Therefore, the sustainability-based social value function implies higher values associated with the trade-off between income growth and other objectives than a purely preference-based welfare function would suggest. Hence, to compensate for environmental and social change, or decrease of macroeconomic stability, sustainable development requires income growth per capita, which is higher than it would be suggested from a purely preference-based perspective of weak sustainability. To make this approach operational, one will be required to assess the trade-offs included in the social welfare function upon which the concept of weak sustainability is based. In addition, the levels of criticality must be defined to confine the opportunity space for sustainable development. Given the current state of development, the isoquant of the social welfare function must then be transformed into the sustainability-based social value function that asymptotically approaches the levels of criticality, as illustrated in Fig. 1 and formalized in Eq. (15). The proposed value function provides an extension of the weak sustainability concept. It allows the evaluation of changes towards the levels of criticality before they are reached. This is more important close to the levels of criticality, where approaches of safe minimum standards may be applied. In contrast, the weak sustainability approach, as defined in this article, can still provide a good approximation for the evaluation of marginal changes at any initial state far from the boundaries of the opportunity space for sustainable development. Altogether, the sustainability-based social value function provides an integrated approach for the evaluation of change. It is balanced between the value principle of weak sustainability and approaches of conservation such as safe minimum standards. Finally, I must emphasize that the sustainability-based social value function is only defined within the boundaries of the opportunity space for sustainable development. Correspondingly, sustainable development can only be realized within these limits that are imposed by critical levels of economic, social and ecological capital. If these conditions are not satisfied, an adjustment process is required before sustainable development can be feasible. In other words, priority must be given to a transition process for initial states outside the sustainable development region. In these cases, any viable development process must first direct the system to conditions that are compatible with the minimum requirements of the socio-ecological-economic system. Such a transition towards sustainable development may involve structural changes within the economy and society, especially changes of the stock of human-made production capital and social organization to exceed the minimum standards of criticality.