Sustainable Technoscientific Development and the Innovator Citizen

Thomas Pfister, Mark L. Flear

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sustainable development could provide a critical foil for individual
and especially collective reflection on the normative
direction, ends and means employed by societies, particularly
around the economy, its technology and resource-intensive
orientation and configuration with ecosystems. However,
although sustainable development is a constitutional objective
of the EU, its implementation in strategies and policies reveals
a much narrower meaning. By framing sustainable development
as ecological modernisation on the basis of technoscientific
innovation, and by imagining citizens as entrepreneurs in a
knowledge-based European economy, openings for democratic
experimentation and social innovation are limited and even
forestalled. In addition, the disruptive and transformational
potential of citizenship is stymied. Still, sustainable development
has resonance within citizenship and human rights
discourses that provide important resources for the fashioning
of common understanding. These are valuable supplements to
the repertoire of European citizenship that could help to embed
sustainable development in the social fabric and generate
alternative imaginaries and futures of a sustainable Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-39
JournalOpen Citizenship
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


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