Sumak Kawsay and buen vivir, Mechanisms for Development? Environmental Ethics and Local Government

Sumak kawsay y buen vivir ¿dispositivos del desarrollo? Ética ambiental y gobierno global

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Sumak Kawsay and buen vivir, Mechanisms for Development? Environmental Ethics and Local Government

Sumak kawsay y buen vivir ¿dispositivos del desarrollo? Ética ambiental y gobierno global

Among those dedicated to analyzing buen vivir or sumac kawsay (living well), David Cortez, the author of this book, stands out. He quickly realized that this is a concept in dispute, since some promote buen vivir as an alternative to the Western model of development, while others find in the notion elements for a new theory of development. Cortez also understood, in due course, the risks buen vivir or sumac kawsay faced, that is, its transformation into a tool used to achieve power or simply for propaganda purposes, which is, in fact, what happened. And that is what this work is about. The author traces a before and after since buen vivir or sumak kawsay was incorporated into Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution. To illustrate the notion’s long history, the author presents the complex weave of actors who have actively participated in debates since the 1980s.

Cortez´s approach to the various readings of the concept is enlightening. These readings come from liberal-conservative and progressive-conservative positions, and they defend – each in its own way – Western civilization, even incorporating a theological approach of interculturation and interculturality with enormous influence from the Catholic Church. Flowing into this wide channel are the exaltation and essentializing of ancestral culture, the ecological debate, and positions from post-development and post-colonial studies.

On this marshy terrain of disputes among multiple interests, the reflections found in this book shed new light. There is no better way to understand this debate than by studying David Cortez’s contribution.

  • Sumak Kawsay and buen vivir, Mechanisms for Development? Environmental Ethics and Local Government
  • David Cortez Author
  • Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales
  • Available worldwide
  • Spanish
  • Digital
    • 978-997-867-558-8 Digital
  • No
    • Dra. María Cuvi Sánchez
    • mcuvi@flacso.edu.ec
    • +593 (2) 294-6800, Ext. 2522