Slippage in Sustainability – the Crisis Effects on the Gap

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 11:45
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Joao GUERRA, Institute of Social Sciences. University of Lisbon, Portugal
Based on some national and international survey results, and based on the Portuguese case in a comparative perspective, our aim is to analyze how environmental attitudes and practices can be further enhanced or hindered in a context of a multidimensional crisis that proved to be simultaneously financial, economic, political, social and environmental.

Our focus will be the areas of environmental and social equity in confront to a range of possible factors of civic action, environmental protection, and sustainability promotion. In our days, transparency based on public participation, availability and reliability of information, institutional trust and accountability are terms that, more and more, come out in the literature and in the deliberative fora for sustainability and environmental governance. Therefore, we will seek an approach that assumes the holistic concept of sustainability that considers those governance factors as ‘silver bullets’ for fighting against environmental and social degradation, and as key determinants for an inclusive and participatory decision making.

After all, although widely undertaken in speeches and political programs, this holistic sustainability approach globally remains shallow and ineffective (Redclift, 2005) both in social and in environmental quality achievements. At the end, it has mostly been limited to inaction and to wishful thinking (Dryzek, 1996, 2005). Features particularly sharpened in these times of socio-economic turmoil, whose end we cannot even guess.