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Sustainable Development: Theory and Policy

An elderly woman on crutches waits outside a train station with  bags, buckets, and blankets resting on two wheelchairs beside her.

An elderly woman waits outside a train station with her belongings in Rome. Caring for an aging population is one sustainability problem that industrialized nations are facing. (Image courtesy of loungerie on flickr.)


MIT Course Number

17.181 / 17.182

As Taught In

Spring 2009


Undergraduate / Graduate

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course examines alternative conceptions and theoretical underpinnings of the notion of "sustainable development." It focuses on the sustainability problems of industrial countries (i.e., aging of populations, sustainable consumption, institutional adjustments, etc.); and of developing states and economies in transition (i.e., managing growth, sustainability of production patterns, pressures of population change, etc.). It also explores the sociology of knowledge around sustainability, the economic and technological dimensions and institutional imperatives along with implications for political constitution of economic performance.

Other Versions

Related Content

Nazli Choucri. 17.181 Sustainable Development: Theory and Policy. Spring 2009. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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