Special Issue "Sustainability Perspectives on Health Care: Exploring the Contours of a Novel Field"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021) | Viewed by 13177
Interests: public engagement in science; responsible research and innovation; health and food system innovation; sustainable development
Interests: transdisciplinary research; health and sustainability; knowledge politics; Science and Technology Studies (STS)
This Special Issue explores and proposes “health and sustainability” as a novel research field. When the field of “health and sustainability” is straightforwardly approached as the overlap between research on “health” and on “sustainability”, a wide array of intertwined or coupled health–sustainability challenges emerges. A few examples: pollution and toxicity and environmental health; increasingly intimate co-habitation of humans and animals in the context of deforestation and the risks on zoonosis; waste production and notions of hygienic healthcare and appropriate (end-of-life) care; transformations toward more sustainable cities and country sides and laying the foundations for better physical and mental wellbeing.
However, research on these topics often remains limited to understanding and remedying problems in either the (social and environmental) sustainability domain or the health domain. “Health” and “sustainability” are rarely mentioned and studied in conjunction in academic research, although it has been frequently observed that today’s sustainability challenges have profound and highly unequal health implications, on the one hand, and that health-care systems produce effects that can be considered unsustainable in multiple ways, on the other hand.
Building on this observation, this Special Issue explores “health and sustainability” by investigating (and transforming) health and health systems from a sustainability perspective. Doing so requires thinking about what sustainable healthcare might look like and how this may come to be defined. It also requires investigating both ongoing practices within systems as well as the introduction of new healthcare interventions beyond the narrow focus of the ongoing practice or intervention itself: How (socially, ecologically and economically) viable is it on the long-term, for the target population and other stakeholders, for the healthcare system as a whole, and for systems that are intertwined with the healthcare system?
Taking this a step further, a sustainability approach to healthcare has the potential to bring to the fore that transforming today’s healthcare system(s) toward more sustainable systems inevitably requires transformations of interrelated systems, as well. For example, facilitating preventive care in the form of healthier diets requires a transformation of the food system. Additionally, today’s systems of knowledge production and valuation are poorly equipped to produce knowledge on which diets are particularly healthy for whom and in which circumstances. Or: Where current mental healthcare predominantly focuses on ‘fixing’ an unhealthy individual, arguments are increasingly being voiced that addressing mental illness more effectively and justly requires a much stronger focus on changing societal structures that play an important role in the definition, emergence, and experience of mental illness.
This summary presents a glimpse of the many issues and topics that sustainability perspectives on healthcare may give rise to, with a threefold focus on (a) the sustainability of the health system itself; (b) coupled food systems–health systems transformations; and (c) coupled living environments–health systems transformations. It explores and draws together a variety of different engagements with health and sustainability as a research topic and field to chart new terrain to inspire future scholarly investigations of health and sustainability from a wide variety of (inter-/trans-)disciplinary perspectives. To do so, we invite papers that contribute to this ambitions on the basis of empirical investigations and/or theoretical innovations and/or in-depth literature reviews.
Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Broerse
Dr. Evelien de Hoop
Dr. Tjerk Jan Schuitmaker
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- sustainable healthcare