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Social Ecology and Sustainability

A section of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Section Information

Social ecology is an inter- and transdisciplinary field of science concerned with the analysis of society–nature interaction on all relevant organizational, spatial, as well as temporal levels and scales. By combining expertise from social and natural sciences as well as the humanities, and by integrating knowledge from practitioners, social ecology aims at providing the knowledge basis for efforts to move towards sustainability. Transitions between different socioecological regimes—for example, hunter-gatherers, agrarian societies and industrial society—as well as possible socio-ecological transformations toward sustainability represent key areas of inquiry.

Thematically, social ecology includes the analysis of resource use patterns, including materials, energy, water and land, the management of these resources, their institutional, social, cultural and economic dimensions, and implications of resource use for climate change, biodiversity, ecosystems and other environmental aspects. Established and emerging issues, such as food production, circular economy, sharing economy or other concepts for reorganizing physical economies, are well within the scope of this section, as are the role of power relations in society, trade-offs and synergies of options for moving toward sustainability, and leverage points for, as well as barriers to sustainability transformations.

The section “Social Ecology and Sustainability” is interested in research articles, conceptual articles, review articles and commentaries covering the whole breadth of social ecology related to sustainability concerns.


Social metabolism; socio-ecological transformations; integrated land-system science; social-ecological (supply) systems; socio-ecological research on lifestyles; regulations of societal relations to nature; sustainability; sustainability indicators; resource management; inter- and transdisciplinary sustainability studies; ecosystem services; society–nature interaction; long-term socio-ecological research; social ecology; human ecology; industrial ecology; political ecology

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Sustainability Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
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