Planetary integrity at the global level and the SDGs – a discourse analysis

Led by Francesco S. Montesano

This study focuses on how global actors that actively engage with the SDGs understand and construct the notion of ecological/planetary integrity. The original overarching conceptual framework defines discourses as the interactive process of conveying ideational elements, thereby constituting a sort of incubator for the consolidation of more prescriptive normative elements, and therefore stressing the link between them and other -more concrete- elements of change.

Following a literature-based conceptualisation of planetary integrity as an eminently Anthropocenic concept, text analysis will help assess whether discourses around it in the global sustainability governance arena have evolved before and after the inception of the SDGs, while interviews will help hone in on whether the SDGs, as a(n alleged) reflection of Anthropocenic ideational and normative change, actually embody and foster ideational and institutional change along integrity lines. Additionally, this will help determine whether discourse within the ‘SDGs institutional environment’ is heading in a direction that is compatible with greater integrity.