The mixed political blessing of campus sustainability

Sheryl D. Breen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Abstract The rise of sustainability rhetoric, curriculum, infrastructure, and marketing on college campuses is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, college presidents are pledging to eliminate their campuses' global warming emissions; colleges and universities are building wind turbines, composters, and green buildings; and sustainability coordinators are the latest surge in new staff hires. However, the greening of college campuses has a less welcome side as well, and examination of the campus sustainability movement suggests an unsettling lack of theoretical and ideological analysis. In this article, I praise what is being done well, identify the political analysis that has been avoided, and provide arguments for what has yet to be addressed. I argue that the trend toward campus sustainability, while praiseworthy in some significant ways, has left some troubling theoretical assumptions largely undisturbed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)685-690
Number of pages6
JournalPS - Political Science and Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


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