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    Downloaded by [Lund University Libraries] at 06:34 15 March 2013 Local Environment Vol. 12, No. 3, 259–278, June 2007 Mapping Sustainable Development as a Contested Concept STEVE CONNELLY University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK Routledge Taylor & Francis Group ABSTRACT Despite the continuing salience of sustainable development as a norm for planning and policymaking, there is still no consensus over the societal goals that would count as sustainable development. This paper builds on a longstanding, though always minority, tradition that sees this conceptual ambiguity and ensuing contestation as inevitable and explicable. Where many representations and analyses of sustainable development obscure this complexity, the purpose here is to provide analysts and practitioners alike with a way of exposing and analysing it, in order to avoid the pitfalls of conflating opposing positions that are cloaked within the comforting rhetoric of sustainable development. The paper sets out a way to map contesting interpretations of sustainable development in relation to each other and wider political debates, and thus provides a visual representation of sustainable development as an essentially contested concept that may counter the rhetorically powerful organizing representations that support the dominant yet over-simplified analyses the familiar three overlapping circles and weak-strong sustainability spectrum. Introduction Although 'sustainable development' has been a dominant concept in planning and policy making for over 15 years, there is still no general consensus over the societal goals that would count as sustainable development as a matter of definition, or would contribute to it in practice. This lack of resolution is seen by many as problematic and odd, given the importance of the concept (Brandon & Lombardi, 2005), and there have always been those who have deplored the term's vagueness and ambiguity-particularly if they see within this a danger that it can be used as a rhetorical cloak for environmentally and socially undesirable policies (Lélé, 1991; Richardson, Correspondence Address: Steve Connelly, Department of Town & Regional Planning, University of Sheffield, Winter Street, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK. Email: [email protected] 1354-9839 Print/1469-6711 Online/07/030259-20 2007 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/13549830601183289 Downloaded by [Lund University Libraries] at 06:34 15 March 2013 260 S. Connelly 1997). In contrast, this paper builds on a longstanding strand of commentary and analysis that sees the conceptual ambiguity and ensuing contestation over the 'true' meaning of the term as inevitable (Torgerson, 1995; Jacobs, 1999b). From this viewpoint it is essential to recognize and analyse this com- plexity and take the implications of contestation seriously, not simply in the interest of intellectual rigour but in order to inform effective sustainable development policy and politics. As long as sustainable development is viewed as 'everything and nothing' it is weakened as a policy goal, and those wishing to promote environmental sustainability and social justice are hampered if they attempt to do so without a clear understanding of the tensions and potential conflicts between these desirable goals. Here I set out a new way of mapping the alternative, contesting conceptions of sustainable development in relation to each other and to wider political debates, and contrast this with dominant current analyses that fail to distinguish adequately between the different conceptions of sus- tainable development found in the real world of policymaking and practice. The purpose is to help both analysts and practitioners not only to understand these distinctive conceptions more clearly, but also to conceive of sustainable development as an inherently political concept. The argument and presen- tation are principally made at a general, conceptual level, illustrated in the concluding section with an example from a Local Agenda 21 (LA21) process in a British local authority. The paper starts by examining three dominant responses to the perceived ambiguities of sustainable development in more detail, and introduces the contrasting idea that it should be understood as an essentially contested concept. This is followed by a critical assessment of the two principal ways of representing the concept-the familiar 'three circles' and axes defining 'weak' and 'strong' sustainable development. The new map is then devel- oped, and sustainable development located as a blurred and contested region around its centre. The paper concludes by suggesting that such a mapping provides a way of visualizing the arguments over the meaning of 'sustainable development' which constitute the politics of sustainable-devel- opment policymaking (Jacobs, 1999b), and draws out the implication that 'sustainable development' as a term plays a range of analytical and rhetorical roles, and so also prompts critical analysis of how the term is used by policy- makers and others. 'Sustainable Development' in the Literature: Straightforward, Ambiguous or Essentially Contested? The literature is dominated by three ways of treating the problematic vague- ness and ambiguity of the concept of sustainable development. The first of these simply ignores the complexities in favour of presenting the concept as unproblematic in principle, if hard to achieve in practice (Agyeman & Tux- worth, 1996). This is the quintessential governmental approach, of which the UK's sustainable development Strategy is typical (HM Government, 2005). Downloaded by [Lund University Libraries] at 06:34 15 March 2013 Mapping Sustainable Development as a Contested Concept 261 The second response is more sophisticated. Many authors note the ambigu- ity of the term, and move on to resolve this by selecting a specific, preferred interpretation from the range of possible meanings, sometimes justified as a logical interpretation of the principles embodied in the founding definition provided by the Brundtland Report (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987). Typically, this is the end of the consideration of the contestability of the term. Thus, for example, Elliott acknowledges the continuing debate over meaning and practice, claims that sustainable devel- opment is 'fundamentally about reconciling development and the environ- mental resources on which society depends' (Elliott, 1999, 34) and then develops a book-length ‘introduction to sustainable development' with a strong emphasis on poverty reduction and access to resources. Carley and Christie (2000) follow a similar path, though with a different interpretation of what is fundamental to sustainable development-a challenge to the organization of industrial capitalism and the development of ‘action- centred networks' as the way to a better environmental management. Similar argumentative structures, which move from recognition of concep- tual complexity to the selection of a single desirable and implicitly correct interpretation of sustainable development, can be found across the disciplines concerned with sustainable development. Recent examples are readily found from the built environment (Brandon & Lombardi, 2005), community devel- opment (Hamstead & Quinn, 2005) and European policy (Roberts & Colwell, 2001), to indicate just a few. The third, more overtly analytical response sets out to make explicit and characterize the ambiguity of the concept. Influenced by distinctions made by environmental philosophers and economists in the 1980s (Myerson & Rydin, 1996), this approach is characterized by the adoption of a single analytical axis. Usually denoted by 'strength' of commitment to sustainable development, a typology of different conceptions or interpretations of the concept is set out along this typical examples are in Pearce (1993), Baker et al. (1997) and Myerson and Rydin (1996). There are two issues raised by the above which suggest that another attempt at anatomizing ‘sustainable development' is worthwhile. On the one hand, I will show below that the single-axis analyses are insufficient to distinguish between significantly different stances on sustainable development through their conflation of different constituent dimensions. On the other, the above responses all contain a thread of normativity-clear in the first and second of the approaches to sustainable development discussed above, and also revealed in the language of the third (Myerson & Rydin, 1996) and in the associations they assert between stances on environmental sustainability, social justice and participatory democracy. Clearly normativity is valuable, and such progress as has been made away from the traditional, unsustainable development trajec- tory has arguably been supported by writings on what sustainable development could and should be. However, it is also widely acknowledged that progress has been insufficient, and this is partially at least attributable to the way the term has been appropriated and perhaps ‘abused' (Lafferty & Langhelle, 1999, 2) or 'hijacked' (Mittlin, 2001) during policymaking processes. Downloaded by [Lund University Libraries] at 06:34 15 March 2013 262 S. Connelly In contrast to these three approaches is a fourth, which seeks to understand how sustainable development is actually developed and used as a concept. Central to this approach is the recognition that statements that 'sustainable development is such-and-such' or 'sustainable development ought to be like this' should often be seen as rhetorical claims. Therefore, as Haughton and Counsell put it, [r]ather than focus on searching for a definitive meaning of 'sustainable development' ... it is necessary to recognise the multiplicity of sustain- abilities and to analyse the ways in which these are shaped and mobilised in political discourse (Haughton & Counsell, 2004, 72–73). To support such analysis it is necessary to acknowledge the intellectual legitimacy of alternative interpretations of the concept, in order to appreciate how and why they can be strongly held and defended-an acknowledgement hampered by approaches that insist that alternatives are not just undesirable (perhaps politically illegitimate) but definitionally incorrect. As Michael Jacobs pointed out long ago, the key here is that ‘sustainable development' is not merely ambiguous but essentially contested (Jacobs, 1995). That is, like other political terms such as 'democracy', it has a widely accepted but vague core meaning within which there are differing 'conceptions of the concept'-legitimate, yet incompatible and contested, interpretations of how the concept should be put into practice. Consequently arguments over the meaning of 'sustainable development' are to be expected, being not just 'semantic disputations' (as they are frequently presented) but 'the substantive political arguments with which the term is concerned' (Jacobs, 1995, 5; 1999b, 26). In recent years this approach has been increasingly applied to analysing how ideals of 'sustainable development' are put into practice, and thus how the term is given concrete meaning (and see, for example, Lafferty & Meadowcroft, 2000b; Sharp & Luckin, 2003; Richardson et al., 2004). Retrospective views of sustainability policy have also noted the development of distinctive meanings at different scales of governance-in particular, within the British context, between a local, broad ‘quality of life’ agenda and a regionally and nationally dominant interpretation of sustainable devel- opment as ecological modernization (Selman & Parker, 1999; and see Owens & Cowell, 2002; Haughton & Counsell, 2004). However, such analyses remain in a minority, and the fact that Haughton and Counsell's point quoted above still needed to be made in 2004 is testimony to the strength of the desire for singular definitions-reflecting perhaps the continuing importance of the concept in the struggle over the direction of social and economic development and the utility of simple messages in mobilizing opinion. A salient characteristic of the dominant responses to sustainable develop- ment's ambiguity is their use of simple geometrical images and associated verbal metaphors, which provide rhetorically powerful organizing represen- tations the now-classic 'three circles' and the single lines of the analytical Downloaded by [Lund University Libraries] at 06:34 15 March 2013 Mapping Sustainable Development as a Contested Concept 263 axes. In contrast, the understanding of sustainable development as essentially contested is lacking such a simple, visualizable organizing principle to estab- lish the relationship between competing conceptions, and to carry the message' of this approach. The purpose of this paper, then, is to support this approach by providing a map-a simple diagram that, rather than pro- viding a typology of meanings, sets out the dimensions of the concept (Dobson, 1996) and shows how contesting conceptions of sustainable devel- opment can be located, both in relation to each other and to alternative sol- utions to what Lafferty called the environment and development problem' (Lafferty, 1996, 187). Representations of Sustainable Development The Elusive Centre: Circles, Spheres and Prisms Probably the most prevalent and influential way of representing and introdu- cing the concept of sustainable development has been through the image of three overlapping circles, separately representing concerns connected with the economy, society and the environment. Sustainable development lies in the three-fold overlap at the centre, where it integrates the three areas of concern. This representation, which appears to have been developed by the International Centre for Local Environmental Initiatives in the early to mid 1990s (ICLEI, 1996), has been both fertile and long-lived. It has been repro- duced in its original form and close variants in many policy and educational documents across the globe over the past ten years, particularly though not exclusively in connection with Local Agenda 21. (A quick internet search yields many instances, of which a fairly typical selection are presented in Figure 2 alongside the ICLEI original.) Without the figure the simple spatial metaphor has become part of the taken-for-granted language of sustainable development, exemplified for example by Beauregard's definition: 'sustainability is situated at the intersection of environmental protection, economic growth, and social justice' (2003, 72). The original figure has spawned further variations, of which a particularly suggestive example is Campbell's early space-within-a-triangle figure-the 'planner's triangle' (Campbell, 1996) (see Figure 3). Here the three corners of the triangle are given individual meanings as possible standpoints for plan- ners to adopt. The edges, 'axes', between these represent conflicts between the positions, and sustainable development is placed in the centre as the poten- tial, elusive reconciliation towards which planners can strive—unreachable in any complete and final way yet ever present as a guiding pole in relation to which planners can orient themselves. The image of the three circles and the metaphor it captures are powerful, their longevity testifying to their attractiveness as the way to communicate what is special and (once) new about sustainable development (Myerson & Rydin, 1996). They neatly capture the difference between sustainable devel- opment and the previously separate concerns of policy and politics, suggesting not only the holistic scope of the concept but also its characteristic

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    Version: Published Version THE & https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-018-0627-5 A Thurloo This is a repository copy of Three pillars of sustainability: in search of conceptual origins. White Rose Research Online URL for this paper: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/136715/ 1011 White Rose university consortium Universities of Leeds, Sheffield & York The University Of Sheffield. Article: Purvis, B., Mao, Y. and Robinson, D. (2018) Three pillars of sustainability: in search of conceptual origins. Sustainability Science. ISSN 1862-4065 Reuse This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence. This licence allows you to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as you credit the authors for the original work. More information and the full terms of the licence here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ Takedown If you consider content White Rose Research Online to be in breach of UK law, please notify us by emailing [email protected] including the URL of the record and the reason for the withdrawal request. [email protected] https://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/ Sustainability Science https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-018-0627-5 Three pillars of sustainability: in search of conceptual origins 1,2 Ben Purvis¹ Yong Mao Darren Robinson ¹,3 Received: 1 December 2017/ Accepted: 23 August 2018 O The Author(s) 2018 ORIGINAL ARTICLE Introduction Abstract The three-pillar conception of (social, economic and environmental) sustainability, commonly represented by three intersecting circles with overall sustainability at the centre, has become ubiquitous. With a view of identifying the genesis and theoretical foundations of this conception, this paper reviews and discusses relevant historical sustainability literature. From this we find that there is no single point of origin of this three-pillar conception, but rather a gradual emergence from various critiques in the early academic literature of the economic status quo from both social and ecological perspectives on the one hand, and the quest to reconcile economic growth as a solution to social and ecological problems on the part of the United Nations on the other. The popular three circles diagram appears to have been first presented by Barbier (Environ Conserv 14:101, doi: 10.1017/s0376892900011449, 1987), albeit purposed towards developing nations with foci which differ from modern interpretations. The conceptualisation of three pillars seems to predate this, however. Nowhere have we found a theoretically rigorous description of the three pillars. This is thought to be in part due to the nature of the sustainability discourse arising from broadly different schools of thought historically. The absence of such a theoretically solid conception frustrates approaches towards a theoretically rigorous operationalisation of 'sustainability'. Keywords Sustainable development Conceptual review Historical origins · Triple bottom line. History of sustainability The last 20 years have witnessed a surge in publications on 'sustainability', to the extent where 'sustainability science' is often seen as a distinct field (Kates et al. 2001; Komiyama and Takeuchi 2006; Schoolman et al. 2012; Kajikawa et al. 2014). Yet despite this, 'sustainability' remains an open concept with myriad interpretations and context-specific understanding. One particularly prevalent description of 'sustainability' employs three interconnected 'pillars' (Basiago 1999; Pope et al. 2004; Gibson 2006; Waas et al. 2011; Moldan et al. Handled by Michael O'Rourke, Michigan State University, USA. 1 2 3 Ben Purvis [email protected] Laboratory for Urban Complexity and Sustainability, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK IR3S Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science Published online: 03 September 2018 CrossMark 2012; Schoolman et al. 2012; Boyer et al. 2016), 'dimen- sions' (Stirling 1999; Lehtonen 2004; Carter and Moir 2012; Mori and Christodoulou 2012), 'components' (Du Pisani 2006; Zijp et al. 2015), 'stool legs' (Dawe and Ryan 2003; Vos 2007), 'aspects' (Goodland 1995; Lozano 2008; Tanguay et al. 2010), 'perspectives' (Brown et al. 1987; Arushanyan et al. 2017), etc. encompassing economic, social, and environmental (or ecological) factors or 'goals'. It should be noted here that these competing terms are primarily used interchangeably, and our preference for 'pillars' is largely arbitrary. This tripartite description is often, but not always, presented in the form of three intersecting circles of society, environment, and economy, with sustainability being placed at the intersection, as shown in Fig. 1. This graphic is found in various forms as a descriptor of 'sustainability' within academic literature, policy documentation, business literature, and online, and whilst often described as a 'Venn diagram', it commonly lacks the strict logical properties associated with such a construction. Alternative manifestations include the three depicted visually as nested concentric circles or literal 'pillars', or independent of visual aids as distinct categories for sustainability goals or indicators. Whilst attractive for their simplicity, the meaning conveyed by these diagrams Springer Environment Social Sustainable Economic Economy Springer Society Environment Sustainability Fig. 1 Left, typical representation of sustainability as three intersect- ing circles. Right, alternative depictions: literal 'pillars' and a concentric circles approach and the wider 'pillar' conception itself is often unclear, hampering its ability to be coherently operationalised. If we are prepared to overlook the lack of semantic clarity and confusion of competing terms, it can be argued that the 'three-pillar' conception of 'sustainability' (or 'sustainable development' ¹) is a dominant interpretation within the lit- erature. Yet the conceptual origins of this description, and the point at which it emerged into the mainstream, are far from clear, and its exact meaning is a matter of contention. As Thompson puts it, "much of the...discourse around sustainability...is organized around...the three-circle rub- ric without much disciplined thought about how it does and does not translate into a more comprehensive understand- ing of sustainability” (Thompson 2017). Whilst much contemporary sustainability literature may centre around the UN's more diverse set of sustainable development goals (SDGs), the three pillars themselves were explicitly embedded in their formulation (UN 2012a). This paper aims to shed light on the origins of the three pillars', taking the structure of an initial review of the historical emergence of the concept of ‘sustainability' from its disparate early roots to the genesis of 'sustainable development' in the 1970s and 1980s. This is followed by a literature survey tracking the early development of these concepts with an aim to probe the origins of the three pillars, prior to 2001, when the three circles diagram is first described as a common view' (Giddings et al. 2002). In the final discussion, we argue that the emergence of the three-pillar paradigm, with little theoretical foundation, is primarily the product of the specific origins of 'sustain- ability' as a concept, aided in part by the agenda of the various actors that helped to shape its early history. 1 Whilst there exists an obvious semantic difference, and implicit focus in meaning, this distinction is not always present in the literature, especially in reference to the pillars formulation (Pope et al. 2004; Johnston et al. 2007; Waas et al. 2011; Carter and Moir 2012). We revisit this distinction in Sect. 4. Sustainability Science Historical origins of 'sustainability' To understand the emergence of ‘sustainability' into the mainstream in the 1980s, it is important to examine the broad roots from which the concept emerged. This is confounded by the fact that much of the work whose concepts feed into the narrative predate the language of 'sustainability'. Authors such as Grober, Caradonna, and Du Pisani have contributed much to shedding light on a wide range of early roots (Du Pisani 2006; Grober 2012; Caradonna 2014). Of particular note are the forestry experts of the 17th and 18th centuries such as Evelyn, and Carlowitz, who introduced the concept of sustainable yield in response to dwindling forest resources across Europe (Warde 2011; Grober 2012). Of relevance too are the early political economists such as Smith, Mill, Ricardo, and Malthus who, in the shadow of the industrial revolution, questioned the limits of both economic and demographic growth, and recognised the inherent trade-offs between wealth generation and social justice (Lumley and Armstrong 2004; Caradonna 2014). The natural scientists and ecologists of the 19th century and early 20th century too help precipitate the schism between the anthropocentric conservationists on one hand, prescribing conservation of natural resources for sustain- able consumption, and the biocentric preservationists, who call for preservation of nature due to its inherent worth (Callicott and Mumford 1997). The modern concept, along with the language of sus- tainability in a global sense did not emerge, however, until the late 20th century. The Club of Rome's 'Limits to Growth' argues for a "world system ... that is sustainable" (Meadows et al. 1972); this, claims Grober (2012, p155), marks the first modern appearance of the term in its broad global context. The same year, in 'A Blueprint for Sur- vival', which draws on the unpublished manuscript for 'Limits to Growth', the editors of The Ecologist present their proposals for the creation of a ‘sustainable society' (The Ecologist 1972). Whatever the exact origins of the language, it is from the early 1970s that the concept snowballs; the World Council of Churches' commission on 'The Future of Man and Society' in 1974 deem the notion of a 'sustainable society' more palatable than the language of limits (Grober 2012, p167). The Ecology Party (later to become the British Green Party) adopted their 'Manifesto for a Sustainable Society' in 1975 (The Ecology Party 1975), and a series of books were published prominently featuring the language of sustainability (Stivers 1976; Meadows 1977; Pirages 1977; Cleveland 1979; Coomer 1979). In the interests of brevity, we leave much of the earlier discussion to authors already mentioned. Instead we pick Sustainability Science up the narrative at the cusp of the 1960s environmental movements, choosing to focus on the strand of 'develop- ment' and how its critique contributed to the rise of 'sus- tainable development' in the 1980s. A twin critique of 'economic development' Soon after the Second World War, there emerged a con- sensus in the Western world that there was an urgent need for international efforts to aid the 'development' of 'less advanced countries' (Arndt 1987, p49). It was during this time that the notion of 'economic development', outside of Marxist discourse, evolved from specifically denoting the exploitation of natural resources in a colonial context, to refer to a rise in material well-being indicated by an increase in the flow of goods and services, and growth in per capita income (Arndt 1981). Thus from the 1950s, 'economic development' became almost synonymous with 'economic growth', which in turn had become a major goal of Western economic policy, although the application of the former term was primarily reserved for poorer countries (Arndt 1987, p51). Truman's 1949 'Point Four' marked the first large-scale technical assistance development pro- gramme, notions of building up capital followed, and by 1961 the United Nations declared "International Trade as the primary instrument for economic development” (ibid. p72). The late 1960s and early 1970s witnessed the rise of the modern environmental movement in the West (Rome 2003; Du Pisani 2006; Tulloch 2013). Popular publications such as Carson's 'Silent Spring' (1962), Ehrlich's 'The Popu- lation Bomb' (1968), and The Ecologist's 'A Blueprint for Survival' (1972), coupled with widespread media coverage of environmental disasters, such as the Santa Barbra oil spill (1969), acted to increase awareness of the magnitude of the widespread environmental destruction caused by humans. It has also been argued that the environment and quality of life issues came to the fore in the West at this point because 'basic economic needs' had been met fol- lowing the economic growth of the post-war period (Dunlap and Mertig 1991; Martínez-Alier 1995). The questioning of economic growth began to re- emerge, with the prominent works of 'Limits to Growth' (1972) and Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful' (1973) both arguing that the modern growth-based economy was unsustainable on a finite planet. The 1973 Oil Crisis, however, and the worldwide recession that followed, helped to crystallise the idea of the limitations of growth into both the mainstream and the academic discourse (Du Pisani 2006). This early discourse was radical and argued that the capitalist economic growth of the Western world was fundamentally incompatible with ecological and social sustainability and called for structural reform (Van Der Heijden 1999; Tulloch 2013; Tulloch and Neilson 2014). Coupled with an environmental critique of the economic growth paradigm in the West was a broad criticism of economic development programmes being implemented in the developing world for their lack of environmental con- siderations. Caldwell details several of numerous cases of failed development projects presented at the 1968 Airlie House Conference on Ecological Aspects of International Development (Caldwell 1984). The recurring theme of these projects was a tendency to prioritise short-term gains over serious considerations of ecological impacts, either to biodiversity or ecosystem services. This forms part of a broader critique of the seeming hubristic belief inherent in the mainstream development discourse of man's ability to dominate and control natural ecological processes (Woodhouse 1972). At the same time it was becoming apparent to many that the 'progress' that had been promised by the early eco- nomic growth-based development programmes was in many ways failing to materialise. Whilst the post-war economic boom had seen a broad rise in living standards in the West, the focus began to shift to the gross inequalities and poverties that still existed in many of these societies (Hicks and Streeten 1979). This led to a second prominent counter-discourse in the development literature, critiquing the focus on economic growth, with calls for a shift from a focus of means to ends, to better consider social problems, and a 'basic needs' approach. Arndt suggests that the first prominent example of this was Seers' 'The Meaning of Development' (1969), which argued that economic growth not only failed as a solution to social difficulties, but often was the cause of them. Seers argued that indicators of poverty, unemployment, and inequality provided a truer depiction of the state of 'development' or 'progress' (Seers 1969; Arndt 1987, p91). Notable too is Hirsch's 'Social Limits to Growth' (1976), which probes the pursuit of growth and its fetishisation at the societal level, arguing that it acts to perpetuate inequalities, and that in fact the social limits to e.g. productivity gains are more prescient than distant physical limits (Hirsch 1995). This broad social critique of growth-focused development received attention from both the International Labour Office (ILO) and the World Bank (see e.g. Hicks and Streeten 1979; ILO 1976; Streeten and Burki 1978), to the extent that it was considered by some to be the "current consensus" (Arndt 1987, p92). The 1972 UN Conference on the Human-Environment in Stockholm marked the first global summit to consider human impacts on the environment, and the first major attempt to reconcile economic development with environ- mental integrity which were commonly regarded as incompatible (Caldwell 1984). Emergent from the Springer conference was the concept of 'environmentally sound development', which by 1973 had been coined as 'eco- development' (Clinton 1977; Mebratu 1998). 'Eco-devel- opment' was defined by Ignacy Sachs in 1978 as "an approach to development aimed at harmonising social and economic objectives with ecologically sound management, in a spirit of solidarity with future generations", further calling for "another kind of qualitative growth" (Glaeser 1984, p25). Credited as one of the earliest ecological economists, Sachs, as an adviser to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), was influential in pro- moting this growth-sceptic concept in policy circles during the 1970s (Gómez-Baggethun and Naredo 2015; Martinez- Alier 2015). The core elements of 'eco-development' are described as the meeting of 'essential human needs', participation, environmental considerations, and the unifying principle of 'self-reliance', understood as not just freedom from the structural dependence on other nations, but freedom for the individual from the pressures of political powers or transnational corporations (Glaeser 1984, pp25-28). Important was the discussion of both local and interna- tional power structures and how eco-development faced an uphill battle in challenging them. In this body of literature, economic growth plays something of a neutral role. Sachs downplays the notion of 'trade-offs' between environ- mental management and economic growth, instead arguing for "a different, environmentally prudent, sustainable, and socially responsible growth", bearing remarkable similar- ities with later United Nations rhetoric (Glaeser 1984, p216; Berr 2015). This approach seems to differ from that of other early ecological economists such as Daly and Mishan who suggested no-growth, and slow-growth economies (Daly 1973; Mishan 1977). Whilst the environment was being reconciled with economic development, the basic needs' approach was being rejected by governments in the developing world; following the global economic slump of the late 1970s, there arose a tendency to see the aspirations of 'moderni- sation', and the creation of a 'new international economic order', as more important than, and incompatible with, a basic needs approach (Arndt 1987, pp104-111). Coupled with this, Sachs claims the basic needs-focused 'eco-de- velopment' was vetoed as a term in international policy forms by the US administration (Gómez-Baggethun and Naredo 2015). With social critique somewhat pushed aside, McNamara, President of the World Bank, called for the need to "recapture the momentum of economic growth" (Arndt 1987). By the 1980s, the early environmental movements had lost momentum, as the wave of the radical social move- ments broke and rolled back (Van Der Heijden 1999). Having been somewhat subdued, throughout the 1980s, the Springer Sustainability Science twin ecological and social critiques of economic develop- ment began to interweave with economic development under what was to be termed 'sustainable development' (O'Riordan 1985; Barbier 1987; Brown et al. 1987). Thus, in 1987 when the UN World Commission on Environment and Development published its report 'Our Common Future' (the Brundtland Report), calling for “a new era of economic growth-growth that is forceful and at the same time socially and environmentally sustainable", the debate had come full circle: economic growth was no longer the problem, but it was the solution (UN 1987). Co-opting the eco-development argument of a 'different quality' of eco- nomic growth, a new 'win-win' scenario emerged by recasting the same old economic growth in "socially and environmentally sustainable" colours. Assimilation into the mainstream: the institutionalising of 'sustainable development' Although the term had been in use for some time (e.g. IUCN, UNEP, WWF 1980), the Brundtland commission is widely credited with popularising the concept of 'sustain- able development' by introducing it into international policy discourse (Basiago 1999; Castro 2004; Johnston et al. 2007; Pope et al. 2004; Redclift 2005; etc.). It defined 'sustainable development' as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". In the years following the publication of the Brundtland Report, 'sus- tainable development' became the dominant paradigm of the environmental movement, and the literature consider- ing it grew exponentially. The institutionalising of 'sustainable development' would continue with the 'Rio Process', initiated at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, where the world's political leaders pledged their support to the principle of sustainable development (Jordan and Voisey 1998). Central to this was the publication of the 'Rio Declaration' consisting of 27 principles intending to guide future sustainable develop- ment', and 'Agenda 21' which articulates a plan for putting these principles into practice. Agenda 21 built upon the Brundtland Report, emphasising the problems of the North-South development divide, championing economic growth and free trade, and emphasised the need to link social and economic development with environmental protection (UN 1992). Subsequent summits occurred in 1997, 2002, and 2012. Despite the importance of global efforts such as the Rio Declaration and Brundtland Report in bringing ‘sustain- ability' into the mainstream policy discourse, the consensus building through compromise approach taken has been criticised. Tulloch argues these documents were

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    „|||. Article Catholic Social Thought and Sustainability. Ethical and Economic Alignment t Ana María Gómez-Bezares 1,*D and Fernando Gómez-Bezares ID Journal of Risk and Financial Management Citation: Gómez-Bezares, Ana María, and Fernando Gómez-Bezares. 2021. Catholic Social Thought and Sustainability. Ethical and Economic Alignment. Journal of Risk and Financial Management 14: 11. https://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jrfm 14010011 check for updates Received: 20 November 2020 Accepted: 23 December 2020 Published: 27 December 2020 CC Publisher's Note: MDPI stays neu- tral with regard to jurisdictional clai- ms in published maps and institutio- nal affiliations. 4.0/). BY Copyright: ©2020 by the authors. Li- censee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and con- ditions of the Creative Commons At- tribution (CC BY) licer (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 1 2 * MDPI Supervision, Banco de España, Calle Alcalá 48, 28014 Madrid, Spain Department of Finance, University of Deusto, Avenida de las Universidades 24, 48007 Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain; [email protected] Correspondence: [email protected]; Tel.: +34-646-124-885 + This work is the sole responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bank of Spain. Abstract: In this research, we demonstrate that business sustainability can be a model to foster in order to reach real development, as it is shown that business sustainability has both an ethical and economic logic. Even though, from an ethical point of view, sustainability can be well-founded on human rights and civic ethics, our goal in this paper has been to sustain and enrich business sustainability based on the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, which can be shared in its advises by many non-Catholic people, as it is a rich source of wisdom. We have also studied its economic logic; analyzing why it is justified for sustainable companies to obtain good results, formulating the model to alleviate the agency problem (which allows it to overcome the traditional stakeholder model), studying empirical analyses that demonstrate the good financial performance of sustainable companies, and making a new analysis that confirms the above. Keywords: business sustainability; social doctrine of the Catholic Church; economic ethics; economic development; social economic progress; financial performance; ESG indices 1. Introduction If we analyze what happened, at least since the first industrial revolution (which began in the second half of the eighteenth century), it seems clear that humanity has prospered greatly in the sense of having a growing supply of goods and services. This has led us, in our environment, to enjoy a high standard of living for the average population, while we have achieved that essential services such as health, education, or other social benefits are guaranteed. However, we cannot hide that this optimistic vision also has its shadows, and very important ones (Sen 2000). First, we would highlight the inequality on our planet: there are really poor countries, especially if we compare them with the richest ones. The extreme poverty of so many human beings who fail to meet their basic needs is the main tragedy for our economic system, and very pronounced inequality is not compatible with a healthy economy either (Keeley 2015; see also the award of 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer, "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty", The Nobel Prize 2019). This largely explains the massive migratory flows that are occurring in Europe or America (Castles et al. 2014). On the other hand, the severe crisis that began in 2007 has also increased poverty and inequality in our immediate environment (Keeley 2015). In addition to this, every day more alarms are triggered regarding the environment: climate change, waste accumulation, etc. (Przychodzen et al. 2018). Recently, the covid-19 crisis has hit our economy, with a foreseeable major impact on wealth and inequality. We need to work on a sustainable development, which allows us to serve the basic needs of all human beings, reduce inequalities, and respect the planet and its inhabitants (environment, ecology, etc.). The economy tries to generate wealth and distribute the J. Risk Financial Manag. 2021, 14, 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/jrfm14010011 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/jrfm J. Risk Financial Manag. 2021, 14, 11 2 of 22 generated wealth, we have to look for models that manage to do this while respecting human rights in its three generations―political and civil rights (first generation); economic, social, and cultural rights (second generation); and environmental rights and right to peace (third generation); Vasak (1977), Cortina (1994). The economy and politics must address these challenges thinking of the entire planet, especially in an era of globalization like the current one: it is necessary to find models that allow all human beings to exercise their civil and economic rights, and for this, from the field of economy, we must ensure that we all have real possibilities of accessing basic goods and services, and to a development that improves the quality of life (Sen 2000). However, this very broad vision, these goals, exceed the objectives of this work; our contributions will go in that line, and they will be able to contribute to getting us closer to those goals, but we will focus more on the companies role. In recent years, concepts such as corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, socially responsible investing (SRI) (BEE 2018) are gaining strength. They address the need for the economy and its agents to respect the interests of all society (including generations to come); this is what we will generically call “sustainability”, and this idea must be based on ethics and economic viability. Sustainability can be based on strong ethical bases (such as the aforementioned human rights); in this work we will try to base it on and enrich it with the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, of which we can find a magnificent and recent exponent in the encyclical Laudato Si' of Pope Francis (2015). Similar topics have been faced in scientific journals, such as Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Research in Social Sciences or Religions (see e.g., Garofalo 2012; Bidard 2014; Tatay-Nieto 2020). However, it is necessary that sustainability be also economically viable. We believe that, here, there is a clear moral responsibility for economists as we must strive to ensure that companies respect the rights, legitimate interests, and fair aspirations of the people with whom they relate (stakeholders), but they still create wealth for the society that is what allows economic progress. Although we will explain it in more detail in the following subsections, we advance here the objective of this research: we try to justify business sustainability in two ways that are, in principle, relatively independent. We want to see first that sustainability has an ethical foundation, for which we will rely, above all, on the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church. In this way, we will review the main documents where it is defined, extracting the ideas that can support business sustainability, and also those that can help us take a further step towards a more committed sustainability. However, whichever is the philosophical foundation of sustainability, we have already said that sustainable companies must create wealth for society. In our economic system this is measured, normally in the first place, by the increase in the value of the companies, so sustainable companies must be profitable. Fortunately, as we will see later, there are both logical reasons and abundant empirical evidence that sustainable companies are as, or more, economically efficient than other companies. Sustainable companies can be equally or more profitable than non-sustainable companies (Gómez-Bezares et al. 2016; BEE 2018). This is the objective of our paper: to justify sustainability ethically and economically, introducing original ideas and results in both approaches, understanding that both justifications are necessary to make the model attractive. 1.1. Sustainability as an Ethical and Economic Construct The title of this paper summarizes well its scope and content: "Catholic Social Thought and Sustainability. Ethical and Economic Alignment". Indeed, what we intend is to analyze how both civil ethics (in the words of the well-known philosopher Adela Cortina 1994) and the Social Doctrine of the Church (SDC) serve as the basis for a model in which the company is at the service of the society as a whole; and that, in addition, as Adela Cortina implicitly proposes, the SDC will allow us to enrich that civil ethics in favor of a fairer world. This would be the "ethical construct"; we could thus say, for example, that human beings recognize each other, dignity (Marina and de la Válgoma 2000), and from there we J. Risk Financial Manag. 2021, 14, 11 3 of 22 can deduce rights such as economic or environmental rights that force companies to be socially responsible and to treat everyone with dignity. However, we can still go further in the hands of the SDC if we remember that there are four fundamental principles according to the "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church": the dignity of the human person, common good, subsidiarity, and solidarity (PCJP 2005). Indeed, these principles make it much clearer to understand what needs to be achieved (to respect and enhance human dignity; to advance in the common good) and how to achieve it (following the path of subsidiarity and solidarity). However, there is also the economic construct: it is necessary that at the same time the solution we propose, "business sustainability", be economically viable. We believe that sustainable companies in financial, social, and environmental matters (as Gómez-Bezares et al. 2016 pose) are going to be equally or more profitable than the rest. This is logical, because such companies will have more loyalty from their workers, their customers, and their suppliers, and they will maintain better relations with their environment, or they will run less risks in adverse situations (Gómez-Bezares 2011). In this paper we will assume, normally, that companies are financially sustainable, to focus on whether sustainable companies (socially and environmentally) are as or more profitable than the rest, for which there is plenty of empirical support (Badía 2019). The idea of basing the concept of sustainability on the ethics of different religious traditions has been developed in different works. For example, Hui (2008) bases on Christianity to find an applicable view to faith-based CSR. Butkus and Kolmes (2007), Hill and Capella (2014), Rousseau (2017), or Christie et al. (2019), rely on the SDC, focusing, respectively, on the ecology and environmental issues, the marketing, the natural-resource- based view of the firm, and the integral ecology. Enderle (1997), deals with the corporate environmental responsibility from a Christian perspective. We see there is literature that studies the relationship between Christianity and sustainability (we could also find it in other religious traditions), although there is a bias towards ecological issues. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is an important gap: business sustainability has not been studied from a holistic perspective based on SDC, with the intention of better founding and enriching it. That is what we will do in this job. In order to achieve this goal, we will review the highest hierarchy texts of the Catholic Church that define the SDC. We will also review quite many studies related to the financial view of sustainability: it is essential that sustainable companies can be equally or more profitable than non-sustainable ones to demonstrate their economic efficiency which trans- lates into a better allocation of resources (key function of the economy). We have already commented on some that go along this line, but it is good to make clear from now on that this is a subject under discussion, as the meta-analyzes of Margolis et al. (2009) and Busch and Friede (2018) prove. The former concludes that the relationship between being sustainable and financial performance is small, but positive; the latter, a second-order meta-analysis, reaches to a clear and positive relationship; but both are aware that the issue is controversial. Consequently, we will study it and will also do our own contrast, using a simple, original methodology, and where we apply a novel index: the PIRR (Penalized Internal Rate of Return). Indeed, we will compare the financial performance of the ESG (Environmental, Social, and Government) indices with that of their conventional versions. We will use four indices to measure financial performance on ten stock indices, with a simple statistical apparatus that will prove, without a doubt, the economic efficiency of sustainability. Sustainability is also increasingly important for investors (see e.g., Spainsif 2020 or Eurosif 2020). As we have just mentioned, sustainability is frequently analyzed based on ESG dimensions (Capelle-Blancard and Petit 2019), and it is always important to identify the different stakeholders of the company (Hörisch et al. 2014), among which the different types of investors will be (e.g., Badía et al. 2020, analyze SRI portfolios adopting a retail investor's perspective). Negative screening methodologies to define sustainable companies are frequently used to build SRI portfolios, many of them with religious origin (Guay J. Risk Financial Manag. 2021, 14, 11 et al. 2004; Arribas et al. 2019a). Different indicators can also be valued and weighted in a positive way (García-Melón et al. 2016; Lamata et al. 2018). All of these criteria have been frequently criticized for different reasons, ranging from subjectivity to lack of credibility (Windolph 2011; Baccaro and Mele 2011; Gangi and Varrone 2018). Our paper will help to establish and better understand what sustainability is and, consequently, it will also be useful for SRI investors. We end this subsection quoting the recent bibliometric study by Bui et al. (2020) that, when looking for the fields that should be more studied within business sustainability, understand that a better and more complete ethical foundation is necessary and recog- nize among the "sustainable corporate finance knowledge gaps: (1) corporate finance in sustainability” (p. 1). Precisely, we dedicate this paper to these issues. 1.2. Research Question and Hypotheses Formulation The research question we want to answer can be formulated as follows: "Does business sustainability have an ethical and economic logic?" and specifically, “Can it be based on and enriched by the SDC?" and "Does it have an economic foundation that we can empirically corroborate?" Thus, based on all of the above, the two hypotheses we want to confirm will be: Business sustainability can be grounded and enriched based on the corpus of the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church. 1. 4 of 22 2. 1. In other words, sustainable companies can be, and actually are, equally or more profitable than the rest, creating value for shareholders and for society. 2. Business sustainability has a clear economic logic, which can also be empirically confirmed. We will advance, following, the main conclusions we have reached in this research: We have based the concept of sustainability from an ethical perspective, focusing mainly on the SDC. We have also been able to enrich the concept of sustainability based on the principles and values of the SDC, thus confirming the first hypothesis. We have developed the economic bases of sustainability, also reviewing some em- pirical contrasts that study this problem, and that mostly confirm that sustainable companies surpass from an economic point of view those that are not sustainable. We have also made our own empirical contrast concluding that sustainable compa- nies have equal or greater financial performance than non-sustainable ones, which corroborates their economic logic and confirms our second hypothesis. As an additional conclusion, we will see that the business sustainability model, as we have stated it, can overcome two major problems of the stakeholder model: the possible lack of motivation of those who make decisions to benefit everyone affected and the agency problems, by maintaining the objective of maximizing value and making it coincide with the CSR. The rest of the paper will be developed as follows: in Section 2 we will study the SDC as the foundation of sustainability; in Section 3 we will analyze the concept of sustainability in general and, especially, business sustainability in particular; in Section 4 we will make our empirical contrast and in Section 5 we will share our conclusions. 2. The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church does not advocate for a theoretical economic model, nor does it propose a collection of technical solutions (it can be seen how John Paul II (1991) recognizes it in its encyclical Centesimus Annus no. 43 or Benedict XVI (2009) in Caritas in Veritate no. 9). What it has indeed developed is the Social Doctrine of the Church (SDC), exposed in a wide set of documents issued by the ecclesial magisterium (you can see PCJP (2005) where the SDC is summarized). This social doctrine is a rich source of wisdom, impossible to summarize here, but we will look at some points taken from the encyclical Centesimus Annus. It tells us that the J. Risk Financial Manag. 2021, 14, 11 5 of 22 free market, despite it has its limitations, turns out to be an effective instrument for the allocation of resources (no. 34 and 42), while it is pointed out that profits indicate the good progress of a company (no. 35); recognizing, in any case, as we said before, that the Church does not have an economic model to propose (no. 43). It also deals with the "role of the State in the economic sector" and the "Welfare State" (no. 48) and affirms the “preferential option for the poor" (no. 57). Subjects such as solidarity, subsidiarity, the common good or human dignity frequently appear in the encyclical, so, for example, in the face of economic globalization, it observes that, "this increasing internationalization of the economy ought to be accompanied by effective international agencies which will oversee and direct the economy to the common good" (no. 58). The company's attention to the different stakeholders, fulfilling not only the objectives of the shareholders, but also those of the rest involved, as employees, customers, suppliers, creditors, society in general … has given rise to the stakeholder theory, which is close to the concept of sustainability. Retolaza et al. (2019) propose to base and clarify this theory based on the SDC and its ethical and anthropological approach. The principles that these authors highlight of the SDC and that will be perfectly useful to support and enrich the concept of sustainability are summarized in the following textual quotation (p. 2): "According to the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (CSDC), Catholic Social Thought can be synthesized around four interrelated principles (with other two attached principles): human dignity (human beings being created at the image of God) (CSDC 108), the common good (in relation with the principle of universal destination of goods), subsidiarity (linked with the principle of participation), and solidarity." (PCJP 2005) These principles can be analyzed in detail in the "Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church", which also indicates the values (inherent to the dignity of the human person) that are truth, freedom, justice and love (PCJP 2005, no. 197, and for all the above see no. 160 to no. 208). In addition, the SDC is based on an anthropological conception that Retolaza et al. (2019, p. 3) summarize as follows: "The role of the firm in economic activity according to Catholic Social Thought is based also in a conception of the human being (anthropology) that recognizes the individuality of each person (an individual with his/her own interests to follow, in competition with others) and the relational dimension of the very same person (an individual with shared goals, able to work in cooperation and solidarity with others)... The Catholic Church does raise a set of objectives for the economic system: sufficient levels of welfare for the population as a whole, fair distribution of wealth, respect for the dignity of people … ; the Catholic Church understands that this must be achieved under the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity; and maintains a certain anthropological conception, which recognizes the freedom of human beings and their ability to cooperate. It should be the economic science the one that seeks models that combine efficiency in the allocation of resources and respect the aspirations of all people in the line of the SDC. This research aims to justify that in this endeavor the business sustainability construct can contribute a lot. In the following points we will deal with the role of the State, we will make a first approximation to the concept of sustainability, and we will link it with the SDC. 2.1. On the Role of the State Already in the nineteenth century, Leo XIII (1891), in Rerum Novarum, speaks of the duty of the rulers to alleviate the workers' situation (no. 32); and in no. 37 it literally reads: "Rights must be religiously respected wherever they exist, and it is the duty of the public authority to prevent and to punish injury, and to protect every one in the possession of his own. Still, when there is question of defending the rights of individuals, the poor and badly off have a claim to especial consideration. The

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    religions Sustainability, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and the Catholic Church's Ecological Turn Article Jaime Tatay-Nieto Ⓡ Facultad de Teología, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, 28105 Madrid, Spain; [email protected]; Tel.: +34-692-664-831 MDPI check for updates Received: 24 August 2020; Accepted: 24 September 2020; Published: 25 September 2020 Abstract: The promulgation of the encyclical letter Laudato si' by Pope Francis in 2015 has been interpreted as the final phase in the integration of sustainability concerns into Catholic Social Teaching. In this recent historical development, academic research has paid particular attention to how different eco-theological traditions, sociocultural developments, and local advocacy practices influenced the Church's ecological turn. However, the key role played by non-magisterial, intermediate institutions, particularly highly qualified interlocutors such as the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), has not been studied in depth. This article argues that, over the past 60 years, the PAS has been instrumental in this development: Raising awareness on socio-environmental issues, promoting environmental literacy, fostering ethical reflection, and catalyzing interdisciplinary dialogue in order to orient policy. Keywords: environmental history; church history; greening of religion; Agenda 2030; Laudato si'; science and religion 1. Introduction Despite having been historically marginalized from academic reflection and major international environmental fora, religion has emerged in recent decades as a relevant actor in the debate on sustainable development (Glaab and Fuchs 2018; Rakodi 2012; Deneulin and Bano 2009; Gardner 2006) and sustainability (Beling and Vanhulst 2019; Johnston 2014; Martínez de Anguita 2012). The myths, taboos, ethical codes, and cultural values conveyed by religious narratives and worldviews are increasingly being seen as valuable resources for nature conservation (Colding and Folke 2001; Berkes 1999), the transition to sustainability (Ives and Kidwell 2019), and as cultural levers with the potential to contribute to systemic social change (Otto et al. 2020; Rolston 2006). Religious expressions, rituals, and narratives, far from disappearing, are mutating (Davie 2000; Heelas et al. 2005), resurfacing in fundamentalist forms (Almond et al. 2003), and diversifying (Berger 2014). Although the "desecularization” hypothesis (Berger 1999) and the different meanings of the term "post-secular" (Beckford 2012) are still the object of an intense academic debate, the contemporary transformation of spiritual manifestations described by sociologists of religion shows both the existence of "religioid" aspects (Benthall 2008) in the contemporary environmental movement (Harvey 1994; Orr 2003; Taylor 2009) and heightened ecological awareness and advocacy in most world religions (Gottlieb 2006; Tucker 2003), often blurring the lines between secular and faith-based organizations (Berry 2014; Johnston 2013). Religions 2020, 11, 488; doi:10.3390/rel11100488 Moreover, environmentalism has been described as a "revitalization movement" (Rappaport 1971; Orr 2003), a "secular faith” (Dunlap 2006), a “global faith” (Johnston 2014), and a “green faith” (Glaab and Fuchs 2018). Not only "religion has historically been a significant part of many visions of sustainability" (Johnston 2013, p. 4), but the concept of sustainability itself is also being constantly enriched and deepened by theological insights. This transdisciplinary concept articulates ecological, political, and socio-economic elements as well as cultural, ethical, and theological dimensions (Vogt and Weber 2019). www.mdpi.com/journal/religions Religions 2020, 11, 488 2 of 11 Back in the 1960s, religious anthropocentrism was perceived as a roadblock to the development of an ecological civilization (White 1967). Today, climate change skepticism is not uncommon among certain religious denominations. From a global perspective, however, religion has become an "emerging actor" (Beling and Vanhulst 2019) and an “intellectual stimulus" (Christie et al. 2019) for secular reflection in the global debate posed by Agenda 2030 (United Nations 2015). In this new context, the growing religious involvement in the environmental arena, as well as the many denominational, ecumenical, and interreligious declarations that have emanated from it (Tatay and Devitt 2017), in particular Pope Francis' Laudato si' encyclical letter (2015), have been received by the scientific community as a timely and necessary contribution (McNutt 2014; Schiermeier 2015; Jamieson 2015; Cafaro 2015; Raven 2016; Sánchez-Sorondo and Ramanathan 2016). However, the numerous analyses of the influential pontifical statement have mainly focused on its political implications (Pasquale 2019; Rowlands 2015), its place in the history of Catholic Social Teaching (Tatay 2018), the various theologies that converge in the document (Miller 2017), and in the influence environmental ethics and the natural sciences (Deane-Drummond 2016) had on its drafting. In this paper, I want to highlight the central, though not sufficiently acknowledged, role that certain intermediate institutions, in particular the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAS), have played as hybrid forums for interdisciplinary dialogue, locus of ethical reflection, and transmission belts between magisterial pronouncements and academic research. In order to fill this academic gap, I first focus on the recent history of the PAS in relation to the socio-environmental challenges emerging throughout the second half of the 20th and early 21st century. Secondly, I describe the main functions exercised by the PAS in order to understand its influence on the pontiffs and the key role played in catalyzing Catholic Social Teaching's “ecological turn”. I argue that, within the complex institutional network of ecclesial actors and players that have facilitated the "greening" of the Catholic Church, the PAS has played a quadruple role: 1. Raising awareness on socio-environmental problems; 2. promoting environmental literacy; 3. fostering ethical reflection; and 4. catalyzing interdisciplinary research. Finally, I suggest that the ongoing science and religion dialogue taking place at the PAS since its refoundation has been instrumental in this development. 2. The Emerging Sustainability Challenge and the Pontificiae Academiae Scientiarum The first ecclesial institution that contributed significantly to the consideration of ecological challenges in the Catholic Church was the Pontificiae Academiae Scientiarum. Its remote predecessor, the Accademia dei Lincei, was created in 1603 under the patronage of Clement VIII and was one of the first scientific academies in the West (Ladous 1994). After its restoration by Pius XI in 1936, it was transformed into an academic forum for interdisciplinary dialogue and a privileged meeting place between the Roman Catholic Church and the scientific world. The mission of the PAS is to promote the progress of the sciences, as well as to establish a dialogue on the epistemological problems derived from interdisciplinary research (Sánchez-Sorondo 2003). The documents generated during the study weeks sponsored by the PAS are not considered magisterial teaching, but they are relevant because of the influence they have on the pontiffs, their academic rigor, and the interest they raise within the scientific community. The work of the academicians, together with the one which will be developed from 1994 by the Pontificiae Academia Socialum Scientiarum (PASS), the PAS sister academy, is essential for understanding the key role played by these “epistemic institutions” (Meyer 2013) in raising environmental awareness within the Catholic Church. On the 50th anniversary of its re-establishment, G. B. Marini-Bettòlo, an Italian chemist and president of the PAS from 1988 to 1993, stated: "The Academy played an important role in suggesting answers to the questions presented to the Holy See by international organizations or by individual scientists, not only on the technical and scientific level, but also on the ethical and moral level. For example, on questions related to desertification, water supply, the correct use of computers, the ethics of scientific research [...]". (Marini-Bettòlo 1987, p. 79) Religions 2020, 11, 488 Moreover, "having such high-level authorities at its disposal, the Academy was in a position to make pronouncements and contributions in advanced interdisciplinary fields" (Marini-Bettòlo 1987, p. 50). This is confirmed by Peter H. Raven, former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and longtime member of the PAS: "Because of the existence of the PAS and its consistent input of objective scientific advice, the Catholic Church has accepted both biological and cosmic evolution since the 1930s and global warming since it was established as an important factor determining our common future". (Raven 2016, p. 253) Over the past 60 years, the PAS convened study weeks, organized symposiums, and established working groups on a wide range of topics related to sustainable development and ecology (Table 1). The fruitful dialogue between the Vatican and the academicians has been the main venue of Catholic engagement with modern science. According to Christiana Z. Peppard (2015), the long history of this engagement has gone through four different eras: Astronomy and physics in the 16th to 18th centuries; geology and evolutionary theory in the 19th and early 20th centuries; bioengineering in the mid to late 20th century; and, finally, ecology and sustainability in the early 21st century. Table 1. Sustainability-related study weeks, study days, symposiums, and working groups organized or sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (1968-2015). Topic Year 1968 Organic Matter and Soil Fertility 1976 1978 1978 1980 1983 1984 1987 1989 1990 1993 1994 1998 1998 1999 2001 2004 2005 2010 2011 2013 2014 2015 3 of 11 2015 Natural Products and the Protection of Plants Science and the Modern World Use of Fertilizers and its Effect in Increasing Yield with Particular Attention to Quality and Economy Mankind and Energy: Needs, Resources, Hopes Chemical Events in the Atmosphere and their Impact on the Environment Energy for Survival and Development Modern Approach to the Protection of the Environment Science for Development in a Solidarity Framework Man and his Environment. Tropical Forests and the Conservation of Species Chemical Hazards in Developing Countries Population and Resources Changing Concepts of Nature at the Turn of the Millennium Geosphere-Biosphere Interactions and Climate Science for Survival and Sustainable Development The Challenges for Science. Education for the Twenty-First Century Interactions between Global Change and Human Health Water and the Environment Nuclear Disarmament, Non-Proliferation, and Development Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene The Emergency of the Socially Excluded Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature: Our Responsibility Climate Change and the Common Good: A Statement of the Problem and the Demand for Transformative Solutions Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity: The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development As Marcelo Sánchez-Sorondo, its current president, affirms: "The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has thus become one of the favoured forums for the dialogue between the Gospel and scientific culture" (Sánchez-Sorondo 2003, p. 18). According to Ladous (1994), since the time of Pius XI, who reestablished the PAS in order to have a scientific senate parallel to the cardinal's senate, his successors have widely profited from the input of the scientists. In fact, it is in the exchange with the academicians where "the pope gets access to the scientific expertise of people at the top of their fields” (Seife 2001, p. 1472). Religions 2020, 11, 488 4 of 11 Yet, it should be noted that the PAS is not a research-oriented institution, but rather a policy-oriented one. The Church's global spiritual, political, and moral clout is one of the reasons why so many world-class scientists, of all religious backgrounds and none, are eager to participate, discuss, and share their expertise (Jamieson 2015; Seife 2001; Gould 1997; Singer 1991). The non-confessional character of the Academy and "the climate of mutual listening and serene encounter on subjects of great relevance" (Sánchez-Sorondo 2003, p. 20), are also pointed out as another defining trait of this unique venue. The nature of the interaction between the PAS and the official Magisterium is one of mutual influence and permanent dialogue. The Vatican has occasionally set the agenda of the PAS, but more often the academicians have freely chosen the topic of their meetings attracting the attention of the pontiffs. By facilitating the establishment of interdisciplinary bridges and hybrid forums for dialogue, the PAS has not only informed the Holy See about various technical and scientific aspects; it has also promoted ecological literacy, influencing indirectly, but significantly, the ecclesial reception and formulation of very different socio-environmental issues such as the use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture (1976), the ethics of scientific research (1978), the role of fossil fuels in energy generation (1980, 1984), the destruction of the ozone layer (1983), chemical pollution (1983, 1993), the use of natural resources and environmental protection (1987, 1989), the centrality of energy for development (1980, 1984), the conservation of biodiversity in tropical forests (1990), the connection between population growth and resource depletion (1994), the loss of biodiversity (1998), science education (1998, 2001), climate change (1983, 1998, 2011, 2015), sustainable development (1999), water (2005), nuclear disarmament (2010), and social exclusion (2014, 2015). In sum, the role of the PAS has been instrumental in attracting the Church's attention to the debates taking place in the scientific community and in offering, from an academically authoritative voice, plausible ethical and political responses to the emerging sustainability challenge. There is ample historical evidence that this has been the case. 3. The Historical Role of the PAS in Raising Awareness on Environmental Issues in the Catholic Church It is not a coincidence that, since its reestablishment in 1936, successive popes have shown great interest in the work of the PAS, considering it an authorized interlocutor with whom to establish a dialogue, as well as a valuable source of knowledge with which to elaborate their speeches, exhortations, and encyclicals on a wide variety of issues. An example of this is the numerous papal interventions addressed to the academicians at Casina Pio IV, the Academy's headquarters in the Vatican (Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Sciences 2003). During World War II, before the new ecological conscience had emerged, Pius XII already warned, unaware of the worst horrors of that conflict, that new scientific advances could "become a double-edged sword and bring both health and death" (Pius XII 1941). After the war, in 1968, the PAS organized a study week to analyze the issue of soil fertility and, indirectly, the use of fertilizers and pesticides in industrial agriculture (Pontifical Academy of Sciences 1968, 1978b), echoing the problem that motivated Rachel Carson to write Silent Spring (Carson 1962), the essay that kicked-off the environmental movement. In 1972, the year of the historic United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the first secular president of the PAS, Brazilian biophysicist Carlos Chagas, was elected. In Marini-Bettòlo's words, this is when the Academy was reoriented to "become an active center of interaction between academics and the international scientific community, capable of facing scientific problems and applying the resulting solutions to the problems of the modern world” (Marini-Bettòlo 1987, p. 53). During the numerous study weeks organized by the PAS, the interrelated scientific, technical, and economic dimensions of the issues previously selected by the academicians were addressed in conjunction with the political, social, cultural, and ethical implications that are also essential for facing the complexity of contemporary challenges (Pontifical Academy of Sciences 1978a). During the 1970-1990 period, the foundations of integral ecology began to be established. Problems as Religions 2020, 11, 488 5 of 11 diverse as extreme poverty, economic inequality, and the inefficient management of natural resources were increasingly related by the academicians to the need for environmental governance, ethical development, indigenous knowledge, and ecological literacy. As John Paul II (1989, pp. 4–5) himself acknowledged, during his pontificate the PAS was slowly transformed into a two-way communication channel: on the one hand, it brought scientific knowledge about the environment to the Vatican; on the other hand, it became a unique place for interdisciplinary dialogue able to influence secular thinkers on ethics. In the 1990s, following the historic Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992) and the publication of an influential declaration signed by 1700 leading scientists, The World Scientists' Warning to Humanity (Union of Concerned Scientists 1991), the PAS continued to address several pressing socio-ecological issues. For example, when discussing the transfer of polluting industries to developing countries with low capacity to treat, store, and transport toxic waste (Dardozzi and Ramel 1996; Pontifical Academy of Sciences 1994), John Paul II denounced the increased chemical risks of those exposed and the hidden environmental injustice: "The serious abuse and offence against human solidarity when industrial corporations in rich countries take advantage of the economic and legislative weakness of poorer countries to locate their production plants or to locate waste that will have a degrading effect on the environment and on people's health”. (John Paul II 1993, p. 2) He also remarked that the reflection emanating from the PAS is not, properly speaking, magisterial, "but it is pontifical", and "scientific analysis is precisely what the pontiffs have always asked of it and what the Academy has given them throughout its history" (John Paul II 1993, p. 3). Furthermore, as he remarked two years before in the same venue: “The data that emerge from your research and discussions will therefore be important and very useful in helping the Holy See to formulate and clarify-in accordance with its own mission and responsibility—appropriate guidelines and suggestions". (John Paul II 1991, p. 1) The two issues addressed by the PAS in 1998, one of an epistemological character—the concept of nature and the other of a global nature—the interaction between the geosphere, the biosphere, and the climate-also provide an opportunity to see the dynamic at play in the Academy (Pontifical Academy of Sciences 2000). Both meetings indirectly stimulated ethical, philosophical, and theological reflection on the anthropological metaphors that have conveyed the dominant cultural paradigm in the West and on the need to adopt a broader spatial and temporal planetary framework: "The clarification of the biogeochemical cycles of nature is one of the great scientific challenges of our time”, stated the academicians; the study of these cycles “demands an understanding of the complex system of interactions that sustains life on Earth" (Bengtsson and Hammer 2001, p. xi; Marini-Bettòlo 1994). Both sets of questions, instrumental in the development of sustainability science as an integrated discipline (Odum 1977), attracted the attention of John Paul II (1991, p. 4). Another set of issues highlighted by the PAS at the turn of the millennium, and central to the formulation of integral ecology, is the need for an interdisciplinary approach to the concept of sustainable development (Pontifical Academy of Sciences 2000; Keilis-Borok and Sánchez-Sorondo 2000) and the centrality of education in addressing the challenges of science (Pontifical Academy of Sciences 2002). For the academicians, a holistic view of education is also essential, "to be aware of the interdependence with the environment and the universe" and "to enable contributions to the solution of the acute problems facing humanity (poverty, food, energy, and environment)" (Pontifical Academy of Sciences 2002, p. 291). Once again, John Paul II addressed the academicians to recognize “the increasing damage caused by modern civilization to people, the environment, climatic conditions and agriculture”, and, noting that some are anthropogenic, argued that "it is man's responsibility to limit the risks to creation" (John

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    Portland State University PDXScholar Dissertations and Theses 8-19-2020 Dissertations and Theses Catholic Social Teaching and Sustainable Development: What the Church Provides for Specialists Anthony Philip Stine Portland State University Follow this and additional works at: https://pdxscholar.library.pdx.edu/open_access_etds Part of the Ethics in Religion Commons, Political Science Commons, and the Public Affairs Commons Let us know how access to this document benefits you. Recommended Citation Stine, Anthony Philip, "Catholic Social Teaching and Sustainable Development: What the Church Provides for Specialists" (2020). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5604. https://doi.org/10.15760/etd.7476 This Dissertation is brought to you for free and open access. It has been accepted for inclusion in Dissertations and Theses by an authorized administrator of PDXScholar. Please contact us if we can make this document more accessible: [email protected]. Catholic Social Teaching and Sustainable Development: What the Church Provides for Specialists by Anthony Philip Stine A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs and Policy Dissertation Committee: Christopher Shortell, Chair Kent Robinson Jennifer Allen Daniel Jaffee Portland State University 2020 © 2020 Anthony Philip Stine Abstract The principles of Catholic Social Teaching as represented by the writings of 150 years of popes as well as the theorists inspired by those writings are examined, as well as the two principal schools of thought in the sustainability literature as represented by what is classically called the anthropocentric or managerial approach to sustainability as well as the biocentric school of thought. This study extends previous research by analyzing what the Catholic Church has said over the course of centuries on issues related to society, economics, and the environment, as embodied in the core concepts of subsidiarity, solidarity, stewardship, the common good, and integral human development. This body of work and the core principles therein present a set of standards and guidance that will enable the work of non- governmental organizations, state actors, and individual activists to achieve the commonly accepted goals of sustainable development in a manner that respects the autonomy of persons and families as well as respect for cultures and communities of historically poor and oppressed peoples in the developing world, as well as in the wealthy nations that drive much of the development agenda. i Dedication The To my amazing wife Krystle and To my family who supported my education ii