In efforts to find synergies or trade-offs between the environmental and social pillars of policies aimed at sustainable development, a key set of issues are often discussed in terms of geographical scale. The aim of this paper is to critically examine the framings of social and environmental sustainability challenges as scale-related (such as local - global or North-South) involved in processes intended to establish and improve international standards of ecologically sound products and processes. Theoretically, this paper combines works on scale theory (on how scale, localness, etc are framed in policy processes) with sociological work of disembeddedness and reembeddedness. Empirically, the paper is based on analyses of various types of documents about standardisation within the sector of sustainable tourism. More specifically, the paper analyses efforts related to the developments of the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council (STSC). This paper holds that reducing problems to inherent qualities of the local versus global - or to North versus South - runs the risk of obscuring and coming to terms with urgent problems at stake. The paper suggests how to proceed in order to shed light on scale dilemmas and reach possible resolutions at the interface of the social and environmental dimensions.
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Sociologist with a broad, human scientific interest in social, economic and evolutionary dimensions of environmental and health related problems.
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