Sustainable Development: the Painful Birth of an Idea

  U.S. President George H. W. Bush captured the malleable meaning of sustainable development when he announced at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that “to sustain development, we must protect the environment. And to protect the environment, we must sustain development” (261). Sustainable development might call to mind a managerial ethos similar…

Can’t Historians Predict the Future?

Nostradamus could have been a policy wonk. My favorite not-so-witty quip during my public talks is “historians are always asked to predict the future.”  It usually gets a chuckle.  I say it as a cop-out when someone asks me about anything controversial: the future of nuclear power, the future face of warfare, or whether Iran…