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Social Sustainability, Past and Future
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Book description

In this book, Sander Van der Leeuw examines how the modern world has been caught in a socio-economic dynamic that has generated the conundrum of sustainability. Combining the methods of social science and complex systems science, he explores how western, developed nations have globalized their world view and how that view has led to the sustainability challenges we are now facing. Its central theme is the co-evolution of cognition, demography, social organization, technology and environmental impact. Beginning with the earliest human societies, Van der Leeuw links the distant past with the present in order to demonstrate how the information and communications technology revolution is undermining many of the institutional pillars on which contemporary societies have been constructed. An original view of social evolution as the history of human information-processing, his book shows how the past offers insight into the present, and can help us deal with the future. This title is also available as Open Access.

Reviews

‘… an unequivocally masterful and absolutely brilliant description of dynamically complex and correlated cultural milieus and environmental systems as a cautionary tale for the ages.’

R. G. Mendoza Source: Choice

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Contents

Full book PDF

Page 1 of 2


  • Social Sustainability, Past and Future
    pp i-i
  • New Directions in Sustainability and Society - Series page
    pp ii-ii
  • Copyright page
    pp iv-iv
  • Dedication
    pp v-vi
  • Contents
    pp vii-xii
  • Preface
    pp xiii-xvi
  • Part I
    pp 1-118
  • 1 - How This Book Came About, What It Is, and What It Is Not
    pp 3-14
  • 2 - Defining the Challenge
    pp 15-29
  • 3 - Science and Society
    pp 30-49
  • 4 - Transdisciplinary For and Against
    pp 50-66
  • 5 - The Importance of a Long-Term Perspective
    pp 67-78
  • 6 - Looking Forward to the Future
    pp 79-99
  • 7 - The Role of the Complex (Adaptive) Systems Approach
    pp 100-118
  • Part II
    pp 119-284
  • 8 - An Outline of Human Socioenvironmental Coevolution
    pp 121-143
  • 9 - Social Systems as Self-Organizing, Dissipative Information-Flow Structures
    pp 144-156
  • 10 - Solutions Always Cause Problems
    pp 157-179
  • 11 - Transitions in the Organization of Human Societies
    pp 180-212
  • 12 - Novelty, Invention, Change
    pp 213-236
  • 14 - Modeling the Dynamics of Socioenvironmental Transitions
    pp 263-284
  • Part III
    pp 285-463
  • 15 - The Rise of the West as a Globally Powered Flow Structure
    pp 287-303
  • 16 - Are We Reaching a Global Societal “Tipping Point”?
    pp 304-338
  • 17 - Not an Ordinary Tipping Point
    pp 339-361
  • 18 - Our Fragmenting World
    pp 362-388
  • 19 - Is There a Way Out?
    pp 389-409
  • 20 - “Green Growth”?
    pp 410-442

Page 1 of 2


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