Book Launch – Just Transitions: Explorations of Sustainability in an Unfair World

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15 February, 17h00 for 17h30, Centre for the Book, Queen Victoria St, Cape TownThe newly published book entitled Just Transitions: Explorations of Sustainability in an Unfair World co-authored by Mark Swilling and Eve Annecke will be launched at the Centre of the Book in Cape Town (Queen Victoria Street) on 15 February at 17h00 (for 17h30). This book draws on the teaching and research that has taken place at the Sustainability Institute over the past decade. All welcome to share in the celebration of the publication of this book. Professor Edgar Pieterse from the African Centre for Cities at University of Cape Town and Professor Johan Hattingh from the Philosophy Department at Stellenbosch University will be the discussants.

To order the book:


About the book:

The persistence of global recessionary conditions coupled to increasingly serious environmental challenges has given rise to the notion that we currently face an unprecedented polycrisis. Mark Swilling and Eve Annecke argue that this polycrisis marks the end of the now unsustainable oil-based industrial epoch as well as the end of the post-World War II long-term development cycle. This fusion of long-term ecological and economic cycles is the underlying explanation for the rise to prominence in the global policy community of the notion of a transition to a ‘green economy’. The challenge, however, is to conceptualise the forthcoming transition driven by actions and efforts to overcome current constraints. To explore this, key aspects of the transition are discussed, including the urban transition, soil degradation and the agro-ecological alternative, and how to ‘green’ the developmental state. Alternatives are also discussed, including changes that have been introduced in Cape Town and the Lynedoch EcoVillage.


Introduction: On becoming visible

Part I: Complexity, Sustainability and Transition

Chapter 1: Complexity and Sustainability

Chapter 2: What is so unsustainable?

Chapter 3: Crisis, Transitions and Sustainability

Part II: Rethinking Development

Chapter 4: Greening the Developmental State

Chapter 5: Rethinking Urbanism

Chapter 6: Soils, Land and Food Security

Part III: From Resource Wars to Sustainable Living

Chapter 7: Resource Wars, Failed States and Blood Consumption: Insights from Sudan

Chapter 8: Transcending Resource- and Energy-Intensive Growth: Lessons from South Africa

Chapter 9: Decoupling, Urbanism and Transition in Cape Town

Chapter 10: Pioneering Liveable Urbanism: Reflections on an Invisible Way