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Advancing Sustainable Development through Environmental, Behavioral, and Foresight Economics

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 12 November 2024 | Viewed by 463

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Economics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 10561 Athens, Greece
Interests: economic development; economic growth; sustainable development; economic policy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Guest Editor
Department of Economics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 10559 Athens, Greece
Interests: economic development and growth; applied macroeconomics; cultural economics; institutional economics; entrepreneurship and innovation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The intricate relationship between economic practices and sustainable development has never been more critical than it is now, in a rapidly evolving world of environmental challenges and economic transformations. As the planet faces unprecedented environmental crises, from climate change to resource depletion, there is an urgent need to redefine sustainability and reshape policymaking towards sustainable development that fosters quality of life. This aim goes beyond the standard definitions of sustainability and requires an interdisciplinary perspective and collaboration across disciplines. Therefore, this Special Issue seeks to deepen our understanding of how diverse economic practices and policies across the globe impact sustainable development, particularly in the context of the environmental challenges we face. This exploration is about identifying problems and uncovering opportunities for innovative economic strategies that can lead to more sustainable outcomes.

The scope of this Special Issue is intentionally broad and deliberately interdisciplinary, reflecting the complex and interconnected nature of the challenges at hand. It encompasses various aspects of environmental science, economics, sociology, and futures studies emphasizing their role in promoting sustainable development. This Special Issue intends to provide a platform for diverse perspectives, methodologies, and geographical contexts; a diversity that is essential, as it mirrors the multifaceted nature of sustainability challenges and solutions, acknowledging that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Key areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

- The Political Economy of Sustainable Development: The political economy of sustainable development explores the intersection between politics, economics, and environmental issues. It delves into how political institutions, ideologies, and power dynamics shape the policies and strategies for achieving sustainability. This field emphasizes the importance of governance structures, international cooperation, and the role of various actors in addressing global environmental challenges, while promoting equitable economic development.

- The Environmental Economics Dimension of Sustainable Development: Environmental economics focuses on the economic aspects of sustainability, analyzing how market forces, incentives, and regulations can be harnessed to achieve environmental goals. It explores concepts such as cost–benefit analyses, market-based instruments, and the valuation of ecosystem services. Moreover, it highlights the need to incorporate environmental considerations into economic decision-making and develop policies that internalize environmental costs.

- The Behavioral Sciences Dimension of Sustainable Development: An aspect to be approached through a cultural perspective and the lenses of various disciplines, including incorporating other life sciences, such as biology and sociology, with economics to foster new guidelines in business ecology and ecology in action. This idea, in particular, is positioned as one of the more influential ideas of 2023, since overemphasizing the circular business model may not be sustainable for all kinds of businesses.

- Foresight and Sustainable Development: Foresight, a crucial aspect of sustainable development, involves anticipating future challenges and opportunities. It helps in identifying potential environmental, economic, and social trends and it underscores methodologies for foresight, scenario planning, and the integration of long-term thinking into policymaking to ensure that development strategies are resilient and adaptive to future uncertainties.

- Balancing Growth and Environmental Considerations: Exploring how different economic policies in advanced and developing nations affect environmental sustainability. This includes analysis of policies promoting degrowth in developed countries to reduce environmental pollution and the economic growth imperatives in developing countries that lead to increased pollution.

- Policies for Sustainable Development based on Environmental Economics: This theme explores integrating environmental economics into sustainable development policies, focusing on how economic incentives and market mechanisms can promote environmental sustainability. It emphasizes the role of tools like carbon pricing, green subsidies, and regulatory frameworks in aligning economic activities with ecological conservation and sustainable resource management.

- Policies for Sustainable Development based on Balancing Affection: This approach focuses on crafting sustainable development policies that harmonize the affection for economic progress with a deep regard for environmental preservation and social welfare. It underscores the importance of formulating strategies that give equal priority to ecological sustainability, economic viability, and social equity, aiming to achieve a balanced and affectionate relationship between human development and the natural environment.

 - Normative Foresight for Sustainable Development: Normative foresight involves envisioning and advocating for a desirable future. This theme explores the ethical dimensions of sustainable development, considering normative principles and values that guide decision-making, and addressing questions of intergenerational equity, social justice, and ethical responsibilities in shaping a sustainable and equitable future.

- Innovation and Sustainable Development: Innovation, a key driver of sustainable development, explores how technological, social, and institutional innovations can significantly contribute to sustainability goals. It emphasizes the role of research and development, technology transfer, and the diffusion of innovative solutions in addressing environmental challenges and promoting sustainable practices.

- Regional Aspects of Sustainable Development: Comparative studies of environmental economic strategies across various regions, highlighting unique challenges and solutions in advanced versus developing countries. This includes discussions on the implications of these strategies for global environmental sustainability and economic inequality.

This Special Issue seeks to spark a rich and nuanced dialogue about the intersection of environmental economics and sustainable development, highlighting innovative research, policy analysis, and practical solutions.


Frey, B. S., Luechinger, S., & Stutzer, A. (2010). The Life Satisfaction Approach to Environmental Valuation. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 2(1), 139–160.

HBR’s 10 must reads. The definitive management ideas of the year from Harvard Business Review 2023. With bonus article “Persuading the Unpersuadable” by Adam Grant. ISBN: 978-1-64789-214-9.

Inayatullah, S. (2007). Six pillars: Futures thinking for transforming. Foresight, 11(1), 4–21.

Kanzola, A. M., Papaioannou, K., & Petrakis, P. E. (2023). Environmental behavioral perceptions under uncertainty of alternative economic futures. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 190, 122428.

Loveridge, D. (2009). Foresight: The art and science of anticipating the future. Routledge. ISBN: 9780415398152.

Prof. Dr. Panagiotis Petrakis
Dr. Kyriaki I. Kafka
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sustainable development
  • environmental economics
  • economic policy and sustainability
  • green technologies
  • degrowth strategies
  • economic growth in developing countries
  • environmental policy
  • circular economy
  • global environmental challenges
  • ecological economic models
  • futures studies
  • sustainability
  • circular business models

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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