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On cross-system interactions and the sustainability of (economic) development

Stijepic, Denis and Wagner, Helmut (2017): On cross-system interactions and the sustainability of (economic) development.

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Abstract

We propose a system-theoretical model for analyzing the sustainability of (economic) growth and development. In particular, we set up a general dynamic system describing the dynamics of the economic and non-economic system (where the latter encompasses, e.g., the ecological, socio-cultural, and political subsystem), their interactions, the dynamics of development indicators, and the sustainability concepts. Then, we discuss the major aspects of sustainability in this framework, in particular, drivers of sustainable development and their direct and indirect/cross-system impacts on development indicators, dynamic equilibria in relation to sustainability, cross-system feedbacks, intra-system interactions, critique of non-interdisciplinary sustainability studies, and sustainability policy design.

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