Using strategic sustainable development as an approach to conflict resolution

Michal Bitterman, Viviana Lopez Velasco, Fiona Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper is based on a master’s thesis entitled ‘A Bridge to Peace: Using Strategic Sustainable Development as an Approach to Conflict Resolution’, arguing that taking a Strategic Sustainable Development (SSD) approach to conflict resolution in areas of the world in long-term intractable conflict with intermittent violence could support an effective process and lasting outcome. SSD proposes a holistic systems perspective and decision-making framework for identifying causes and drivers of the conflict, and finding common ground internally and externally. The unbalanced dynamics between the fundaments of sustainability, a robust ecosystem and social fabric are the basis of unsustainable patterns which are often at the heart of conflicts. Socioecological unsustainability can be both a threat and an opportunity for social change. The thesis analyses the links between sustainability, SSD and conflict resolution work in areas of conflict as described, and proposes a set of guidelines for approaching conflict resolution with SSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-334
Number of pages21
JournalProgress in Industrial Ecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • sustainability; sustainable development; strategic sustainable development; backcasting; sustainability principles; conflict; long-term conflict; intractable conflict; violent conflict; conflict resolution; peace; peacebuilding; environment, environmental peacemaking, human needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Development
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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