Taylor & Francis Group

Sustainable development - historical roots of the concept

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This article gives an overview of the origin of the concept of sustainable development by going far back in history to trace its roots. It shows how the idea of sustainability evolved through the centuries as a counter to notions of progress. The historical context in the latter half of the 20th century is outlined, in which a paradigm shift in thinking about development caused sustainable development to occupy the centre stage in development discourses.

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