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Bilkes, J.D.C.

Auteur: Jozef Bilkes
Afstudeerjaar: 2012
Vakgroep: Praktische filosofie
Titel: How sustainable is Latour? On Actor-Network Theory and sustainability indicator development
In the last few decades, sustainability has become one of the primary issues in our society. Policy directed towards sustainable development is often based on sustainability indicators. In recent years much academic research on sustainability indicator development has been done covering many issues. Both scientific and political communities take part in this highly complex and controversial development process. Their interaction is a topic closely linked to actor-network theory, especially as developed by Bruno Latour. Latour stresses that it is highly important to recognize nonhumans as actors within our society and to regard them as citizens with particular demands. Despite the fact that sustainability covers a vast range of issues, it is all about complex relationships between humans and nonhumans, which need to be investigated, understood and sometimes revised and overhauled. However, while some academic articles make use of actor-network theory (ANT), the full potential of ANT philosophy with regard to sustainability indicator development has not yet been explored thoroughly. This master’s thesis is an early attempt to do just this. Therefore, my main research question is: In what way can ANT contribute to the development of sustainability indicators? Apart from a literature study on ANT and sustainability indicator development, I did a case study on sustainability indicator development related to Dutch Wadden Sea policy. This enabled me to suggest several improvements to current thinking and practice related to sustainability indicator development from an ANT perspective. I conclude that actor-network theory provides useful concepts and, more generally, a philosophical perspective from which promising contributions to the debate on sustainability indicator development can be made on a theoretical as well as a more concrete level.
Laatst gewijzigd:01 november 2013 11:52