ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Growth and Sustainability

Nuclear Power, Economic Development Discourse and the Environment: The Case of India by Manu V Mathai (London and New York: Routledge) 2013; pp xvii+229; no price listed.

This ambitious study covers a lot of ground: Lewis Mumford, nuclear power, discourses of development and economic growth, public policy and environmental sustainability. At its heart is a critique of the model of growth followed by India since Independence that, it is argued, is environmentally unsustainable and unable to meet the needs of the weakest members of society.

The study proposes an alternative method for assessing growth and sustainability by focusing on the “end-uses” of economic growth: a synthesis of Amartya Sen’s capabilities model, Amulya Reddy’s development-focused end-use-oriented service-directed (DEFENDUS) approach, and the “sustainable energy unit” (SEU) concept developed by scholars at the University of Delaware, where Manu V Mathai studied. It offers a very useful analysis of various planning documents and reports on energy use of the Government of India. Less compelling is the intellectual value of nuclear power as a case study that exemplifies this wide-ranging critique.

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