Open access

OBSTACLES TO SUSTAINABILITY – IN PUBLIC DISCOURSE (the Case of a Transitional Economy – Poland)


National Cases Augmented

Publication language: English

Journal article

Transformations No. 3-4 (94-95) 2017 Publication date: 30 November 2017

Article No. 20171130184338560

Keywords: sustainability, economy, human behaviors

Abstract Requirements for the sustainability in economy and society should be tailored to a given country or region. General models which often dominate in academic discourse are an important part of necessary social knowledge (of decision makers, media, NGOs etc.). They are formulated in universally relevant categories; they constitute a kind of preamble of the sustainability ideology. This framework adopted by politicians in the form of the UN SDGs does not automatically ensure a smooth sustainability transformation. Implementation of the SDGs is dependent not only on diverse contexts of countries in question, but also on an evaluation of these goals (their feasibility, costs, urgency, prioritization etc.) and their mutual conditioning (not easy to recognize and forecast). Strategies and policies are not clearly evident and should be a subject of public debates (there is also a substantial diversity of type and level of democracy, public engagement, citizens’ activism, media actions and the like) and public participation in determining them. This is not rarely overlooked in the Western scientific and political debates. A good case is such country as Poland with its transitional economy and changing political system. Poland’s problems with sustainability transformation are substantially different from the highly developed Western democracies (which is not necessarily manifested in media and politics). This difference is often underestimated, in spite of that it explains well difficulties, failures and ineffectiveness on a way to sustainable development.The paper will analyze the state of sustainability ideology (in education, media, politics, religion), strategies and policies (of government and businesses), human behaviors (attitudes, convictions, lifestyles, models of consumption). The analysis will be conducted to recognize and interpret the barriers and obstacles in order to join a sustainability wave propagated by the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development.

  1. Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland

    E-mail: lzacher@alk.edu.pl