Special Issue "Social Ecology. State of the Art and Future Prospects"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (6 February 2017).
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.
Interests: social ecology, social-ecological risk research, science-policy interface
Interests: political ecology, socio-ecological transformation, critical state, hegemony and democracy theories, socio-ecological conflicts
Interests: material flow analysis; trade; biomass
Interests: transformations of socio-technological systems, multi-criteria sustainability assessment, novel water infrastructures, water reuse, vulnerability of critical infrastructures
Over the last decades, social ecology has made important contributions to interdisciplinary sustainability studies. Established in the late 1980s, social ecology was developed as a deliberate provocation to the more ‘disciplined’ natural and social science environmental research. With its focus on the specific interrelations between societies and their natural environment (consisting of social and biophysical processes), it has challenged disciplinary assumptions about environmental problems. The particular conceptualization of society-nature interrelations in social ecology yields strong arguments for the necessity of inter- and transdisciplinary analyses of and responses to the ecological crisis which integrate different knowledge types and stakeholder perspectives.
While both the hybrid subject matter and the inter- and transdisciplinary approach were highly contested at the beginning, social ecology is now widely accepted within sustainability research and beyond. The contributions to this special issue should take stock of these developments and evaluate major conceptual and empirical achievements and current frontiers of social ecology.
Inter- and transdisciplinarity are fundamentally integrated into the social ecology research framework. This integration rests on the development of concepts and methods for the specific purpose of this type of research. Through the transdisciplinary participation of societal actors, socio‑ecological research is faced with both the advantage and challenge of working with heterogeneous knowledge. The concept of regulation and transformation of societal relations to nature as well as the model of social-ecological provisioning systems (SEPS), for example, can be used to specify these interrelations and can be combined with analytical tools such as an ideal model of a transdisciplinary research process and social-ecological lifestyle analysis. A strong focus on the systemic framework within which these society-nature relations can be researched has led to the development of socio-economic metabolism research. The concepts of metabolism and of colonization help to characterize society-nature relations and are complemented by analytical tools such as material flow accounting and the human appropriation of net primary production.
The aim of this special issue is not to present one monolithic approach to social ecology but to present the variety in the existing research, to discuss how mutual irritation can be productive and to reflect on how the different conceptual achievements must be understood in light of the current socio‑ecological challenges to which they respond.
Dr. Johanna Kramm
Dr. Melanie Pichler
Dr. Anke Schaffartzik
Dr. Martin Zimmermann
Please note that the submission window is open only from 24 January 2017–6 February 2017. Manuscripts submitted before 24 January 2017 will not be processed until the 24 January 2017. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline on 6 February 2017.
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 papers will be 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 1800 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.
- Social ecology
- Interdisciplinary sustainability studies
- Society-nature relations
- Sustainability research
- Concepts and methods