New Book: Taming the Big Green Elephant. Setting in Motion the Transformation Towards Sustainability

Cover: Taming the big green elephant. Setting the motion for transformation towards sustainability, Ariel Macaspac HernandezAriel Macaspac Hernandez, economist at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institute für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) has published a book with the title “Taming the big green elephant. Setting In motion the transformation towards sustainability” (Open Access) with the publisher Springer. With the use of analytical methods from the negotiation studies, economics and social science, he shows how policy goals and development trajectories are interdependent.

In addition to theoretical models (ideal types) to understand the political and institutional conditions in different development trajectories, he presents through country case studies (China, Jamaica, Mexico, Philippines and the United States) the diverse entry points of countries to transformation to sustainability. He argues that sustainable low carbon development is a transformative process that constitutes the shifting from the initially chosen or taken pathway to another pathway as goals have been re-visited and revised to enable the system to adapt to changes. However, shifting towards low carbon trajectories entails transition costs that are accrued through the effects of lock-ins that have framed decisions and collective actions.

The uncertainty about these costs can be overwhelming or even disruptive. The book discusses the concept of knowledge diplomacy, which is built upon negotiative perspectives to help define, design, and facilitate collective actions in order to execute the principles of sustainability. The eBook can be downloaded freely through the following link: