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Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1042; doi:10.3390/su9071042

Societal Relations to Nature in Times of Crisis—Social Ecology’s Contributions to Interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies

1
ISOE—Institute for Social-Ecological Research, 60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2
Institute of Social Ecology, Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt-Wien-Graz, A-1070 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 26 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Ecology. State of the Art and Future Prospects)
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Abstract

During the second half of the 20th century, the crisis of societal relations to nature emerged as the subject of an international scientific, political, and popular debate. Anthropogenic climate change, loss of biodiversity, resource peaks, or local air and water pollution are symptoms of this crisis. Social ecology provides an inter- and transdisciplinary take on sustainability research and is well-equipped to respond to the research challenges associated with this crisis. Social ecology comprises different schools of thought, of which two initiated this special issue on “State of the Art and Future Prospects” for the research field. The approaches to social ecology of the ISOE—Institute for Social-Ecological Research in Frankfurt, Germany, and the Institute of Social Ecology (SEC) in Vienna, Austria are based on a common understanding of the challenges posed by social-ecological crises. In how these social ecologies tackle their research questions, conceptual differences become evident. In this article, we provide an overview of social ecology research as it is conducted in Frankfurt and in Vienna. We discuss how this research responds to the ongoing crisis and conclude by identifying important future prospects for social ecology. View Full-Text
Keywords: social ecology; societal relations to nature; colonization; metabolism; regulation; transformation; social-ecological crisis social ecology; societal relations to nature; colonization; metabolism; regulation; transformation; social-ecological crisis
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Kramm, J.; Pichler, M.; Schaffartzik, A.; Zimmermann, M. Societal Relations to Nature in Times of Crisis—Social Ecology’s Contributions to Interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1042.

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