Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development

Transforming the Industrial State

Nicholas A. Ashford and Ralph P. Hall

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In this book Nicholas A. Ashford and Ralph P. Hall offer a unified, transdisciplinary approach for achieving sustainable development in industrialized nations. They present an insightful analysis of the ways in which industrial states are currently unsustainable and how economic and social welfare are related to the environment, to public health and safety, and to earning capacity and meaningful and rewarding employment. The authors argue for the design of multipurpose solutions to the sustainability challenge that integrate economics, employment, technology, environment, industrial development, national and international law, trade, finance, and public and worker health and safety. This book is essential reading for anyone with a policy or scholarly interest in sustainable development and the critical roles of the economy, employment, and the environment.

Nicholas A. Ashford is a professor of technology and policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the director of the MIT Technology and Law Program, and a faculty associate in the School of Engineering, the Sloan School of Management, and the Urban Studies Department. Ralph P. Hall is an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech.

Click here to take a look at the Primer on the Emergence of Sustainable Development that accompanies the book.

"Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development dives into some of the most interesting and important questions that arise in the context of sustainability-notably how one squares the emerging structure of a global economy with the demands of environmental protection.
The authors address this issue and other critical policy questions that arise in the context of sustainable development, including how to best promote innovation, in a deeply inter-disciplinary fashion."—Dan Esty, author of Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage 

"A brilliant, comprehensive, and masterful integration of the multidimensional elements of sustainability. The book provides a higher-level transdisciplinary perspective on sustainability and, at the same time, practical approaches for how to implement sustainability on the ground. It is encyclopedic and unrivalled; reading it was an intellectual epiphany. It is one of the most important texts I have read."—Anne Steinemann,
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Professor of Public Affairs, University of Washington; author of Microeconomics for Public Decisions

"This astonishing book encompasses many important ideas related to sustainable development in Europe and the United States. It is a terrific summary of information for those seeking feasible alternatives to the pursuit of infinite growth—students, managers, and regulators alike."—Dennis Meadows, co-author of The Limits to Growth, winner of the 2009 Japan Prize

"This is by far the most ambitious and the most comprehensive study—years in the making—of the whole range of issues associated with the sustauinability challenge. It is an essential addition to the bookshelf of every scholar working in this field."—Robert U. Ayres, author of Crossing the Energy Divide

"Ashford and Hall have crafted a path-breaking new approach to sustainable development that balances the demands of the economy with the needs for meaningful employment and with a stable environment. They give hope to those left on the sidelines by our runaway globalization economy." —Robert E. Scott, Economic Policy Institute

"Ashford and Hall have produced a breathtaking, transdisciplinary account of the possible future of sustainable development in a global world.  What I find most compelling is their understanding of the far-reaching and far-sighted government action needed to produce the sorts of public and private innovation on which a realistic path to the multiple social, political, economic transformations can be based.  At a moment when it is hard to see a positive way forward, Ashford and Hall give me hope!"—Stanley N. Katz, Director, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies, Princeton University


"This book makes an exceptionally timely and important contribution by emphasizing the people side of sustainability—especially employment and earning capacity."—John C. Dernbach, Director, Environmental Law Center, Widener University Law School

"A comprehensive, compelling text. Underscores the importance of integrated institutional transformation to enhance economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability, and meaningful employment. Must reading for understanding the perilous but essential path towards sustainability in the 21st century."—David A. Sonnenfeld, contributing editor, The Ecological Modernisation Reader: Environmental Reform in Theory and Practice

"Ashford and Hall provide an important and lucid analysis of the complex forces which influence our attempt to move to a more sustainable world. Taking a transdisciplinary approach this vital book is no blueprint for easy solutions, but provides an inspirational insight into the flaws of the industrial state and how these can be corrected."—Richard Fenner, Cambridge University

“This outstanding and comprehensive treatment of sustainable development, drawing on a wide range of analyses including economics, technology, and trade, is an invaluable resource for scholarship and teaching as well as an essential guide to policy.”—Jonathan M. Harris, author, Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: A Contemporary Approach





“The main adjective characterizing this book is 'impressive'. It is impressive in its aims as it pushes the international [sustainable development] discussion a logical step forwards towards unravelling the links between technology, environment, globalization, and [sustainable development]. It advocates that economy should meet the needs for a meaningful employment and a stable working environment. In this way, the book has prospective capacity. It is impressive in its content: it provides the most comprehensive overview of issues in [sustainable development] I know.”—Luc Hens, Springer Journal

Winner of the 2012 Green Book Festival in the Business category, sponsored by JM Northern Media LLC
ISBN: 9780300169720
Publication Date: October 18, 2011
752 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
65 b/w illus.