S: Environment and Climate Change

This Network aspires to advance a broad, interdisciplinary, and critical dialogue on the interactions between the economy, society, and the environment. Major problems from climate change to ecosystem collapse prompt an urgent need to analyze the interdependence of economy and environment and to reimagine current models of economic prosperity and wellbeing. Among the core challenges are the need to limit carbon emissions, industrial pollution, and biodiversity decline, and to adapt our cities and rural spaces to unprecedented forms of environmental risks. Now more than ever, the social sciences need to investigate the environmental basis of economic activity and the social and economic structures that shape socio-environmental interactions, in order to assess the possibilities and tradeoffs for transforming our political, economic, and social institutions toward less ecologically destructive modes of living.

The “Environment and Climate Change” network is intended as an interdisciplinary collective, drawing on scholarship and expertise from sociology, economics, international relations, political science, STS, geography, and political ecology. We invite papers that examine both institutional change and persistence in response to multiple and simultaneously unfolding environmental crises. This includes work that focuses on national and international policy developments as well as innovative approaches that center on market coordination and private self-regulation. We seek to understand why institutional change has been so incremental and to identify instances where lasting transformations have been achieved and sustained. We are also particularly interested in understanding how proposed solutions affect those least responsible yet most vulnerable to these changes, both in the Global South and North. An overarching goal of this Network is to consider how the dominant political economic structure, call it capitalism, is positioned to address the socio-ecological crisis, and to identify plausible alternatives.