DYNAMICS OF SOCIOECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY BASED ON NATIONAL FOOTPRINT ACCOUNTS (1961-2014)

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Abstract

The project of international development has been extensively and profoundly questioned. A fixation on economic growth, narrowly represented by income per capita metrics (e.g.: gross domestic product –GDP), has been the focus of particularly astringent criticism. Nevertheless, taxonomies distinguishing developed, developing, and underdeveloped countries (or similar categories), based on income per capita metrics, are still prevalent analytical tools in the realm of international discussions about social progress and in lay discourse. To contribute to the creation of a ‘dashboard’ of indicators reflective of a multidimensional notion of social progress, I analyze 53 years of data of the two components of the National Footprint Accounts, Biocapacity and Ecological Footprint per capita for 123 nations between 1961 and 2014. Using a simplified description of the joint trajectories of these components, I perform cluster analysis. The patterns that emerge allow me to describe the dynamics of sustainability for the study period by formulating a taxonomy of socio-ecological change. This research contributes to expand and improve our understanding of social progress from the point of view of sustainability. My description of the dynamics of sustainability, contributes to re-framing social progress from a notion of unbounded accumulation of wealth to a notion of political, uneven contest concerning people and natural resources. This taxonomy offers an opening to engage with social issues like widening and narrowing differences among nations (convergence/divergence), environmental or ecological (in)efficiency, unequal exchange, unequal ecological exchange, and ecological debts.

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Description
152 pages
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Date Issued
2020-08
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Keywords
Biocapacity; Classification; Cluster analysis; Ecological Footprint; National Footprint Accounts; Time series
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Union Local
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Committee Chair
Wolf, Steven A.
Committee Co-Chair
Committee Member
Rodewald, Amanda D.
Eloundou-Enyegue, Parfait M.
Makki, Fouad M.
Degree Discipline
Natural Resources
Degree Name
M.S., Natural Resources
Degree Level
Master of Science
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Government Document
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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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dissertation or thesis
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