17.181 / 17.182 Sustainable Development: Theory, Research and Policy

As taught in: Spring 2006


Undergraduate / Graduate


Prof. Nazli Choucri

Indian girl carrying a water container on her head.
Every morning and evening, women from the village walk hundreds of meters to the well to bring back drinking water for their families. Water for cooking and drinking is stored in matkas, which were originally terracotta jars, as pictured in the background.  Steel matkas, as the one the girl is carrying, are also commonly used these days. Photo taken on a farm outside Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India. (Photo courtesy of Shreyans Bhansali [thebigdurian].)

Course Features

Course Highlights

This course features lecture notes and the mid-term in the exams section.

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.
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