The Paradox of Dutch Sustainability

C. Rot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Sustainability in the Netherlands embodies an enormous paradox. On the one hand, the Netherlands has an international reputation as an environmentally friendly country, while on the other hand, the country perpetuates fossil fuel capitalism. This research uses a discourse analysis to draw up the context of this paradox. It expands upon the notion of Dutch sustainability, using the concept of ecological modernization and a critique on the Protestant ethic. Second, the history of land reclamation in the Netherlands is framed in the context of sacrifice zones, relating it to the contemporary practice of sea level rise adaptation and flood prevention on a global scale. This contextual approach begins to explain why this paradox of sustainability exists, and why Dutch sustainability currently does not include a notion of environmental justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-163
JournalArdeth Magazine
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021


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