Four propositions on integrated sustainability

Four propositions on integrated sustainability: toward a theoretical framework to understand the environment, peace, and sustainability nexus

Sustainability Science

Joshua Fisher, Poonam Arora, Siqi Chen, Sophia Rhee, Tempest Blaine,  & Dahlia Simangan

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Abstract: The sustainability agenda has evolved around a set of interconnected dilemmas regarding economic, social, and environmental goals. Progress has been made in establishing thresholds and targets that must be achieved to enable life to continue to thrive on the planet. However, much work remains to be done in articulating coherent theoretical frameworks that adequately describe the mechanisms through which sustainability outcomes are achieved. This paper reviews core concepts in the sustainability agenda to develop four propositions on integrated sustainability that collectively describe the underlying mechanisms of sustainable development. We then advance a framework for integrated sustainability and assess its viability through linear regression and principal components analysis of key selected indicators. The results provide preliminary evidence that countries with institutions that enable cooperation and regulate competition perform better in attaining integrated sustainability indicators. Our findings suggest that institutional design is important to sustainability outcomes and that further research into process-oriented mechanisms and institutional characteristics can yield substantial dividends in enabling effective sustainability policy.

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