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This Article utilizes recent controversy over Coca-Cola's alleged depletion of groundwater resources in India as a vehicle for exploring competing conceptions of global environmental governance and the role of private actors within them. Initially, it uses the Coca-Cola groundwater situation to identify core substantive and procedural meanings that lurk within the otherwise ingeniously ambiguous concept of sustainable development. Through this exercise, it is shown that -when properly understood- the sustainable development paradigm requires at a minimum some collective response to the question, "Sustainability of what?' This necessity of collective response, however, stands in considerable tension with the premises of market liberalism that drive such political and economic trends as global market integration; privatization and commodification of water and other natural resources; and cost-benefit review of environmental, health, and safety regulations. By clarifying this and other points of normative and empirical disagreement between sustainable development and market liberalism-including points that previously have been unidentified or underappreciated in the literature-this Article aims to provide an impetus and an outline for more searching inspection of both frameworks.
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