Strategies to save the earth: nature conservation experts and sustainable development, 1980-2000

Hans Schouwenburg

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


Politicians, companies and citizens: sustainability is important to everyone. But what exactly does it mean? This dissertation explores the history of the term 'sustainability', the experts who helped shape the idea, and the underlying interests that played a role. It reveals that sustainability has been redefined over time. Because of these different and often conflicting views, the term is vague, sometimes hypocritical, and often leads to disagreements in practice. But precisely because of this vagueness, sustainability also inspires cooperation in the international debate surrounding environmental problems and developmental collaboration. The strength of the term lies precisely in the latter.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Homburg, Ernst, Supervisor
  • de Bont, Raf, Co-Supervisor
Award date10 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • sustainability
  • sustainable development
  • nature conservation
  • experts
  • international organisations

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