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Do not Miss the Forest for all the Trees

Author(s): Inga Carlman

Journal: Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift
ISSN 2000-4273

Volume: 2010;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 69;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: sustainable development | rule of Law | social scientific environmental theory | ecological sustainability | scientific compatibility.

In the 1960s environmental issues became analysed ina global context. 1992 sustainable development wasmade the overall policy. 2010 the biosphere is in a worsestate than in the 1960s, and the world human populationis higher than ever. For sustainability, human behaviourmust be kept within biospherical carrying capacity. Thispresents enormous social and human scientific challenges.However, main social scientific schools generallyoverlook what basically makes democratic systems tick,namely Rule of Law. Most social scientific input hasbeen hampered by pre-environmental sectoral paradigmsmissing the holistic prerequisites. Modernenvironmental law methodology has on the other handanalysed old law and developed theory for sustainablelaw capable of i.a. handling non-linearity, complexityand what makes societies tick – Rule of Law. Thanksto this, some of what other social sciences have broughtforward can be reinterpreted for inclusion in an adequatesustainability theory, while much of the rest canbe explained as ineffective.This paper brings this into broader environmentalscience. It will (1) rely upon the still degrading biosphereand that no country has so far established effectivecontrol for sustainability; (2) explain why such controlcannot be achieved in a democracy without recognisingthe Rule of Law and adapting the law to sustainability;(3) explain why mainstream social and human sciencesyet have not contributed more effectively; (4) presenta fundamental theoretical holistic structure essentialfor social environmental science, and (5) based on thisdemonstrate why it is impossible to solve the globalunsustainability problems without full understandingof the Rule of Law.
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