COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Sustainability Science - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444627094, 9780444627292

Sustainability Science

1st Edition

Managing Risk and Resilience for Sustainable Development

Author: Per Becker
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444627094
eBook ISBN: 9780444627292
Paperback ISBN: 9780444638083
Imprint: Elsevier
Published Date: 23rd July 2014
Page Count: 302
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST
Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


A new, holistic transdisciplinary endeavour born in the 21st century, Sustainability Science: Managing Risk and Resilience for Sustainable Development aims to provide conceptual and practical approaches to sustainable development that help us to grasp and address uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity and dynamic change. Four aspects that permeate our contemporary world and undermine much of our traditional ways of thinking and doing. The concepts of risk and resilience are central in this endeavour to explain, understand and improve core challenges of humankind.

Sustainability and sustainable development are increasingly important guiding principles across administrative levels, functional sectors and scientific disciplines. Policymakers, practitioners and academics continue to wrestle with the complexity of risk, resilience and sustainability, but because of the necessary transdisciplinary focus, it is difficult to find authoritative content in a single source.

Sustainability Science: Managing Risk and Resilience for Sustainable Development presents the state of the world in relation to major sustainability challenges and their symptomatic effects, such as climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, disease and disasters. It then continues by elaborating on ways to approach and change our world to make it a safer and more sustainable place for current and future generations. The natural, applied and social sciences are woven together throughout the book to provide a more inclusive understanding of relevant processes, changes, trends and events.

Key Features

  • Shows how disturbances, disruptions and disasters have always been intrinsic byproducts of the same human-environment systems that supply us with opportunities, as well as what implications that has for policy and practice towards sustainable development today
  • Introduces a new approach for grasping and addressing issues of risk and resilience in relation to sustainable development that is firmly rooted in a comprehensive philosophical and theoretical foundation and clearly linking the conceptual with the practical
  • Presents a holistic agenda for change that includes a more explicit role of science, reinforced focus on capacity development and the overall necessity of fundamental social change
  • Features more than 150 figures, full-color photographs, diagrams, and illustrations to highlight major themes and aid in the retention of key concepts


The primary audience includes geoscientists, engineers and environmental scientists responsible for, as well as in private companies or international organizations involved in, hazard and disaster management, risk management, societal planning, and climate change adaptation. The more advocacy-oriented parts of the book will interest government policymakers. A secondary audience includes students at the graduate level taking related coursework within the disciplines outlined above.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introducing the Book
    • Introduction
    • Purpose of the Book
    • Demarcation of the Book
    • Structure of the Book
    • Conclusion
  • Part I. The State of the World
    • Chapter 2. Our Past Defining Our Present
      • Introduction
      • Conquering Our Dynamic World
      • Social Change over Millennia
      • The Invention of Risk
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 3. Our Sustainability Challenges
      • Introduction
      • Our Challenges as Discussed on World Conferences
      • Our Boundaries for Sustainability
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 4. Our Disturbances, Disruptions and Disasters in a Dynamic World
      • Introduction
      • Our Symptomatic Events
      • Our Processes of Change
      • Conclusion
  • Part II. Approaching the World
    • Chapter 5. Conceptual Frames for Risk, Resilience and Sustainable Development
      • Introduction
      • Philosophical Assumptions about Our World
      • Development, Sustainability and Risk
      • Managing Risk for Sustainable Development
      • The Concept of Resilience
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 6. Resilience—From Panacean to Pragmatic
      • Introduction
      • Inherent Restrictions for Measuring Resilience
      • Operationalizing Resilience
      • Challenges for Developing Resilience
      • Linking Resilience to Other Frameworks
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 7. The World as Human–Environment Systems
      • Introduction
      • Why Human–Environment Systems?
      • Systems Approaches and Concepts
      • Constructing Human–Environment Systems
      • Conclusion
  • Part III. Changing the World
    • Chapter 8. Science and Change
      • Introduction
      • The Sciences of the Complemental
      • Two Scientific Processes
      • Reliability, Validity and Workability
      • Limitations of Science for Change
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 9. Developing Capacities for Resilience
      • Introduction
      • Four Levels of Capacity
      • Capacity Development for Resilience
      • Central “Ships” in Capacity Development
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 10. Social Change for a Resilient Society
      • Introduction
      • Describing Social Change
      • Prescribing Social Change
      • Conclusion
    • Chapter 11. Concluding Remarks
      • Introduction
      • The State of the World
      • Approaching the World
      • Changing the World
      • Conclusion
  • References
  • Index


No. of pages:
© Elsevier 2014
23rd July 2014
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author

Per Becker

Affiliations and Expertise

Lund University Center for Risk Assessment and Management (LUCRAM), Lund, Sweden


"...explores approaches to making the planet a more resilient and safe place for the future. The book offers a holistic agenda for societal change." --Sea Technology Magazine, December 2014

Ratings and Reviews