Chapter 2: Governing sustainability and environmental management: what, why and how?

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Sustainability has often been considered a nebulous concept, with shifting definitions of what sustainability entails, disagreements about what criteria should be met to ensure something is sustainable and narrow conceptions of who gets to enjoy the outcomes of a sustainable world. In this chapter, we review the history of the concept and present examples of how sustainability has been governed in the past. We offer an extended vision of how environmental management can be sustainable, not only within the engineering and natural science disciplines, but also how it can and should include social science dimensions related to governance as well.

Publisher's Statement

© Kathleen E. Halvorsen, Chelsea Schelly, Robert M. Handler, Erin C. Pischke and Jessie L. Knowlton 2019. Publisher's version of record:

Publication Title

A Research Agenda for Environmental Management