Global Im-Possibilities

Exploring the Paradoxes of Just Sustainabilities

Edited by Phoebe Godfrey and Mary Buchanan


In a world where environmental issues are mixed with political sensibilities creating a multitude of paradoxes, this book provides fresh and realistic insights into just what needs to be done to achieve just sustainabilites and impede the possible social and environmental crises.
At a time where environmental and social stakes are at their highest – with rising crisis and contradictions at the nexus of increasing environmental and social collapse  – there are no easy solutions. Global Im-Possibilities: The Paradoxes of Policies, Plans, and Practices for Just Sustainabilities explores just what can be done around the world to ameliorate this social and environmental collapse.

Via a range of essays and a multitude of case studies, this book explores what new lessons can be learned from examining the challenges and impediments to achieving just sustainabilities on the levels of policy, planning, and practice, and considers how these challenges and impediments can be addressed by individuals and/or governments.

Taking a nuanced approached to provide an intersectional analysis of a particular issue related to the ideals for achieving sustainability, this book asserts that that it is only in recognizing such complexity that we can hope to achieve just sustainabilities.  

This is a must read for undergraduates, graduates and anyone involved with policy planning or change-making who seeks to create lasting-transformation at a global level.

Author Bio

Dr. Phoebe Godfrey is an Associate Professor in Residence in Sociology at the University of Connecticut. She teaches courses on Society and Climate Change, Sustainable Societies, Sociology of Food and Sociology of Education. She is the co-director and Board President of the non-profit Commercially Licensed Co-operative Kitchen (CLiCK). She is the co-editor of a two-volume reader, Systemic Crises of Global Climate Change: Intersections of Race, Class and Gender and Emergent Possibilities for Global Sustainability Intersections of Race, Class and Gender, published in 2016.

Mary Buchanan is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Connecticut. Her research-focus is on exploring alternative landscape futures for expanding and strengthening local food systems in New England. She also serves as Board Secretary at CLiCK, where she helps with strategic planning and policy. She is co-author of the 2017 report Wildlands and Woodlands, Farmlands and Communities: Broadening the Vision for New England.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction: Unpacking the Paradoxes of Policy, Planning, and Practice
  • Part 1: Paradoxes of Energy and Resource Extraction: People’s Practices For and Against
    • 1. The Sovereignty Paradox: Negotiating Values amid Tribal Adaptation to Shale Oil Extraction
    • 2. Popular Consultations and Extractivism in Colombia: from Local to Global Actions Against Climate Change
    • 3. Activism or Extractivism: Indigenous Land Struggles in Eastern Bolivia
    • 4. Rescaling Energy Governance and the Democratizing Potential of ‘Community Choice’
  • Part II: Government Policies and Plans for Sustainability
    • 5. Contested Expertise, Divided Citizenship and the Multiple Dilemmas of Debate on Delhi’s Air
    • 6. Negotiating Mobility and Contesting Non-motorized Mode Rickshaw in Dhaka, Bangladesh
    • 7. Resistance to Restricting? The Politics of Cars in Copenhagen
  • Part III: Cities – The Sites for Sustainability Successes and Failures
    • 8. Destroy and Rebuild: Considering Harm, Community Benefits & Environmental Ornamentation in Community Development
    • 9. ‘And then it goes political’: The Contested Political Economy of Planning for Social Sustainability in Urban Neighborhoods
    • 10. Evolution and Transition in the Athens Water System
    • 11. Futuring Urbane Coastscapes: Micropolitics of the Waterfront in (Post)Colonial Accra and Colombo
  • Part IV: Alternative Policies, Plans, and Practices Illustrating the Im-Possibilities of Just Sustainabilities
    • 12. Energy Crisis, Energy Abolition: Violent Abundance and the Cleantech Surround
    • 13. Organic (Dis)organisation and Transformation: Stories of Resistance and Return at CERES Community Environment Park
    • 14. Welcome to Tubman House: A Grassroots Vision of Eco-democracy from Post-uprisings West Baltimore
  • Conclusion: Weighing the Global Im-Possibilities for Just Sustainabilities?


Publication Date: 22 July 2021
272 pages

Product ISBNs: Hardback: 9781786999542
eBook ePub: 9781786999511
eBook Kindle: 9781786999528

Appears in

Why is peer review so important?

Learn more about the various types of peer review, why it’s so important, what the social and political considerations of peer review are and how we use it at Zed Books.