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Localising international law: The implications of sustainable development in the lives of waste pickers in Soth Africa

Lindner, Allison (2020) Localising international law: The implications of sustainable development in the lives of waste pickers in Soth Africa. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85922) (KAR id:85922)

Language: English

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This thesis explores the dynamics that occur in a localised setting when sustainable development, an international legal concept, is translated into national laws through an empirical case study involving waste pickers in Johannesburg, South Africa. South Africa is the centre of the empirical examination given that sustainable development is both enshrined as a right in the highly-regarded and progressive South African Constitution, and is the prime objective of many local laws which comprise the waste management regime. The thesis uses an Economic Sociology of Law (ESL) approach, which considers legal life and economic life as part of wider social life; and conceptualises social life in terms of human rationalities, regimes, actions and interactions. This approach both prompts and facilitates a systematic interrogation of the interplay of the economic, legal and social dimensions of 'sustainable development'; and of how these dimensions are manifested in the life at local level. Empirical research reveals how stakeholders interact in their experience of the waste management regime aimed at achieving sustainable development. Waste pickers in Johannesburg do not benefit from improved social, economic or environmental conditions because sustainable development is ill-equipped to respond the social dynamics that complicate its operation in South Africa. Symptomatic of this is a lack of recognition of the value of waste pickers' work, resulting in policies that do not facilitate waste pickers' full access to waste, and a national recycling rate which is currently 38.6 per cent of all recyclable materials. Policy strategies aimed at achieving sustainable development in the South African waste management economy should address these issues in order to achieve success. This study is important for policy makers and waste pickers, and joins a handful of studies focused on the relationship between international law and the informal waste management economy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Perry-Kessaris, Amanda
Thesis advisor: Eslava, Luis
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85922
Uncontrolled keywords: Sustainable Development, Environmental Law, Informal Economy, Waste Management Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 14:10 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Jan 2022 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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