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Sustainable Orientalism: Hegemonic discourses for environmental sustainability and their transmission to non-Western habitats


This paper analyses the construction of the hegemonic methods for the evaluation and representation of sustainable development and their translation into non-Western habitats. The concept Sustainable Orientalism pursues to examine the adaptation and translation of contemporary dominant discourses, methods and representations that shape the idea of a sustainable development in cities and regions around the world, and their translation to growing economies of non-Western societies. A correlation of Orientalism and sustainable development determines that the study and knowledge of non-Western environments by advanced assessment frameworks do not merely reproduce the outlying territories: it works them out, or animate them, using narrative techniques, and historical and exploratory attitudes of scientific ideas generated in the West. The paper questions the pursuit of environmental justice in the 21st century based on the distortion and degradation of knowledge that is implied in the exercise of a Sustainable Orientalism.

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