The notion of “sustainability” remains a conflicted concept in many fields of human activity, especially with the subtle semantic shifts now unfolding in this idea as connotations of “renewability” drift toward those tied to “resilience.” The roots of the struggle for sustainability began in the rhetorical battles and political struggles to ensure renewable natural resources could flow to cities without compromising the condition of those from whom the resources were extracted and the life chances of future generations. The reimagination of sustainability since the early 1970s, however, in today’s discourses of securitization and stabilization has pushed this term into different realms of application, which are more corporate, statist, and elitist. This chapter reconsiders the relationships of urban spaces to the political conflicts and contradictions now interwoven into sustainability policies.
Timothy W. Luke
Timothy W. Luke
This chapter provides a provisional reading of how critical interpretative policy studies could productively approach the challenges of interpreting power as an object of political analysis. It presents this case by re-evaluating the sites and settings in which power typically is studied by policy analysis. The discussion, however, makes a case for interpreting power, as a set of directive relations, which is co-evolving and co-constituting in agent-structure interactions with knowledge. It encourages critical policy analysis to thoroughly contest technocratic uses of power in policy-making, and endorses the acceptance of more flexible and fluid interpretations of power at work in multiple sites and settings at all levels of governance.