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date: 11 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter argues that whether or not the world is successful in attaining sustainability, political systems are in a process of epoch-defining change as a result of the unsustainable demands of our social systems. This chapter theorizes a framework for analyzing the political “translation” of sustainability norms within national polities. Translation, in this sense, denotes the political reinterpretation of sustainable development as well as the national capacities and contexts which impact how sustainability agendas can be instrumentalized. This requires an examination into the political architecture of a national polity, the norms that inform a political process, socioecological contexts, the main communicative channels involved in the dissemination of political discourse and other key structures and agencies, and the kinds of approaches toward sustainability that inform the political process. This framework aims to draw attention to the ways in which global economic, political, and social systems are adapting and transforming as a result of unsustainability and to further understanding of the effectiveness of globally diffused sustainability norms in directing that change.

Keywords: sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals, translation, norm, politics, communication, governance

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