Sustainable development from an East-West integrative perspective: Eastern culture meets Western complexity theory

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Abstract

Sustainable development as a concept and a practice has much to gain through an integration of traditions of thought culture. This entails cultivating the holistic approach found in Eastern philosophy and culture, while still valuing the analytical Western contribution. The conceptual catalyst for this to occur is an emerging ‘tradition’ of thought: complexity theory. More specifically, Complex Adaptive Systems or CAS represents a Western match to Eastern thinking. Therefore it is possible to have an integrative perspective, without having to privilege Western cultural perspectives on development, nor upturn them in favour of alternative models of development. The integrative or holistic model can work well for incorporating diverse approaches. This also appears to be Chinese President Xi Jinping’s message when he conveys the Chinese approach to development in his ‘common destiny’ speeches. India’s pluralistic traditions sit well with the idea of the one and the many; and of the harmony of opposites.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Development: Asia-Pacific Perspectives
EditorsPak Sum Low
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Chapter5
Pages36-41
ISBN (Electronic)9780511977961
ISBN (Print)9780521897174
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

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