Next Article in Journal
Is Eco-Efficiency a Sufficient Strategy for Achieving a Sustainable Development? The Norwegian Case
Next Article in Special Issue
Why Does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to Be Inadequate? A Preliminary Public Choice Analysis
Previous Article in Journal
Cassava: The Drought, War and Famine Crop in a Changing World
Previous Article in Special Issue
Deliberative Ecological Economics for Sustainability Governance
Sustainability 2010, 2(11), 3608-3622; doi:10.3390/su2113608

Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints

1,* , 2
1 INRA—LAMETA, 2 place Viala, 34060 Montpellier, France 2 INRA—Scientific Directorate for Agriculture, 147 rue de l'Université, 75338 Paris Cedex 07, France 3 EconomiX, Université Paris Ouest, Nanterre—La Défense, Bâtiments K et G, 200, Avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre Cedex, France
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 October 2010 / Revised: 8 November 2010 / Accepted: 17 November 2010 / Published: 22 November 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Political Economy and Sustainability)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [184 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]


Sustainable development must satisfy the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Although it looks at the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability, this article focuses specifically on an analysis of the concept in conjunction with the use and protection of natural resources. It shows how taking account of environmental goods, including the finite nature of certain natural resources, can change the way economists deal with the issues of growth, development and equity between generations. In this context, after a brief historical perspective on the concept of development, the paper shows how the potential for substitutability between natural and manufactured capital, for example in production technologies, lead to two paradigms, that of weak sustainability and that of strong sustainability. These two approaches are presented in an effort to explain how their merits can be mutually reinforcing.
Keywords: development; sustainable development; weak and strong sustainability; intergenerational equity; natural resources; indicators development; sustainable development; weak and strong sustainability; intergenerational equity; natural resources; indicators
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Share & Cite This Article

Further Mendeley | CiteULike
Export to BibTeX |
EndNote |
MDPI and ACS Style

Figuières, C.; Guyomard, H.; Rotillon, G. Sustainable Development: Between Moral Injunctions and Natural Constraints. Sustainability 2010, 2, 3608-3622.

View more citation formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

For more information on the journal, click here


[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert