Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change

ISBN 9780415782791
Published October 28, 2013 by Routledge
360 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Today, the risks associated with global environmental change and the dangers of extreme climatic and geological events remind us of humanity’s dependence on favourable environmental conditions. Our relationships with the landscapes and ecologies that we are a part of, the plants and animals that we share them with, and the natural resources that we extract, lie at the heart of contemporary social and political debates. It is no longer possible to understand key social scientific concerns without at the same time also understanding contemporary patterns of ecosystem change.

The Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change reviews the major ways in which social scientists are conceptualizing more integrated perspectives on society and nature, from the global to local levels. The chapters in this volume, by international experts from a variety of disciplines, explore the challenges, contradictions and consequences of social–ecological change, along with the uncertainties and governance dilemmas they create. The contributions are based around the themes of:

  • Climate change, energy, and adaptation
  • Urban environmental change and governance
  • Risk, uncertainty and social learning
  • (Re)assembling social-ecological systems

With case studies from sectors across both developed and developing worlds, the Handbook illustrates the inter-connectedness of ecosystem health, natural resource condition, livelihood security, social justice and development. It will be of interest for students and scholars across the social sciences and natural sciences, as well as to those interested and engaged in environmental policy at all levels.

Table of Contents

1.Socio-Ecological Transformations and the Social Sciences  Part I: Challenges, Contradictions and Consequences of Global Socio-Ecological Change  2. Ecological Modernization Theory: Taking Stock, Moving Forward  3. The Emergence of New World-Systems Perspectives on Global Environmental Change  4. China’s Economic Growth and Environmental Protection: Approaching a ‘Win-Win’ Situation? A Discussion of Ecological Modernization Theory  5. Eco-imperialism and Environmental Justice  6. Neoliberalism by Design: Changing Modalities of Market-Based Environmental Governance  7. Dilemmas for Standardizers of Sustainable Consumption  Part II: Climate Change, Energy, and Adaptation  8. Climate, Scenario-Building and Governance: Comprehending the Temporalities of Social–Ecological Change  9. From Rio to Copenhagen: Multilateral Agreements, Disagreements and Situated Actions  10. Marriage on the Rocks: Sociology’s Counsel for our Struggling Energy–Society Relationships  11. Sustainability as Social Practice: New Perspectives on the Theory and Polices of Reducing Energy Consumption  12. Environmental Migration: Nature, Society and Population Movement  Part III: Urban Environmental Change, Governance and Adaptation  13. Climate Change and Urban Governance: A New Politics?  14. Recovering the City Level in the Global Environmental Struggle: Going Beyond Carbon Trading  15. Hybrid Arrangements Within the Environmental State  16. The New Mobilities Paradigm and Sustainable Transport: Finding Synergies and Creating New Methods  Part IV: Risk, Uncertainty and Social Learning  17. Towards a Socio-Ecological Foundation for Environmental Risk Research  18. Uncertainty and Claims of Uncertainty as Impediments to Risk Management  19. Transboundary Risk Governance: Co-Constructing Environmental Issues and Political Solutions  20. The Role of Professionals in Managing Technological Hazards: The Montara Blowout  21. Social Learning to Cope with Global Environmental Change and Unsustainability  Part V: (Re)assembling Social–Ecological Systems  22. The Social–Ecological Co-Constitution of Nature Through Ecological Restoration: Experimentally Coping with Inevitable Ignorance and Surprise  23. Biological Invasions as Cause and Consequence of "Our" Changing World: Social and Environmental Paradoxes  24. Biological Resources, Knowledge and Property  25. Disassembling and Reassembling Socionatural Networks: Integrated Natural Resource Management in the Great Bear Rainforest  26. Land Use Tensions for the Development of Renewable Sources of Energy

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Stewart Lockie is Professor of Sociology at the Australian National University.

David A. Sonnenfeld is Professor of Sociology and Environmental Policy at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF).

Dana R. Fisher is Associate Professor of Sociology and Director of the Program for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland.


"This is a benchmark study, timely and up-to-date, which examines social and environmental change and the connections between them. It explores global changes while focusing on specific cases and the complexities of research at different levels. The Editors are to be congratulated for bringing together such a thoughtful, comprehensive and incisive volume."—Michael Redclift, Emeritus Professor of International Environmental Policy, King's College, London

"This handbook offers a tour through critical questions and arguments being raised by scholars related to environmental, social, and natural interactions at the global, national, and urban levels. It will be a very useful reference for those interested in obtaining an overview of theoretical developments in the study of eco-sociological transformations and international examples of societal and political responses to various environmental risks, uncertainties, and inequalities."—Miranda A. Schreurs, Professor and Director, Environmental Policy Research Centre, Freie Universität Berlin

"This systematic collection of contributions offers a highly informative and sophisticated overview of the state of the art for the rapidly expanding literature on the social scientific turn in ecological issues – for beginners as well as for those doing advanced research in these fields."—Ulrich Beck, Professor of Sociology, University of Munich