Orchestrating competing goals-the challenge of sustainable development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

A fundamental challenge to sustainable development is to harmonise diverse and often competing and conflicting objectives. There is no disagreement about this statement but what is scrutinised in this paper is the contemporary notion that the way to harmonise those competing and conflicting goals is by further clarifying the very concept of sustainable development itself This paper brings this notion to a historical analysis whereby the experience of the postwar European Union in 'discovering' sustainable development was analysed using materials obtained from the Commission of the European Communities reports for the years 1993 to 2000 and selected case studies from Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and Sweden. It was found from this historical analysis that the challenge of harmonising competing goals was met by practically gearing towards each set of the sustainability goals according to the priority of the time. In conclusion, it is not so much a task of infusing intellectual clarity and rigour to the concept of sustainable development that really matters. Rather it is the act-the ability to manage the tensions of competing economic, social and ecological goals as they happen at a given time or stage of development, even as the exact meaning of sustainable development at that time was less clear and less complete. This insight should further our understanding of the challenges faced by developing countries currently undergoing different stages of development and finding difficulty at realising the ultimate goals of sustainability all at once.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Applied Sciences Journal
Volume13
Issue number13 SPECIAL ISSUE
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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sustainable development
historical analysis
sustainability
European Community
Ireland
Sweden
Netherlands
developing country
ability
economics
time
experience

Keywords

  • Ecological integrity
  • Economic growth
  • Social vitality
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Orchestrating competing goals-the challenge of sustainable development. / Buang, Amiah @ Amriah; Ahmad, Habibah; Jusoh, Hamzah; Abu Bakar, Kaseh.

In: World Applied Sciences Journal, Vol. 13, No. 13 SPECIAL ISSUE, 2011, p. 53-57.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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