IFF Social Ecology e-Newsletter Nr. 39 – January 2018


Projects – Publications – Media Resonance – Publication Download – Data Download – Job Announcements

New Publication
Social Ecology. State of the Art and Future Prospects
Kramm, J., Zimmermann, M., Pichler, M. and Schaffartzik, A. (Eds.)
Social Ecology. State of the Art and Future Prospects Special Issue in Sustainability
MDPI, 2017
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.


Download all 11 chapters:

Gizicki-Neundlinger, M., Güldner, D. and, 2017. Surplus, Scarcity and Soil Fertility in Pre-Industrial Austrian Agriculture—The Sustainability Costs  of Inequality. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9020265

Görg, C., Brand, U., Haberl, H., Hummel, D., Jahn, T., Liehr, S., 2017. Challenges for Social-Ecological Transformations: Contributions from Social and Political Ecology. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071045

Haas, W., Andarge, B.H., 2017. More Energy and Less Work, but New Crises: How the Societal Metabolism-Labour Nexus Changes from Agrarian to Industrial Societies. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071041

Haberl, H., Wiedenhofer, D., Erb, K.-H., Görg, C., Krausmann, F., 2017. The Material Stock–Flow–Service Nexus: A New Approach for Tackling the Decoupling Conundrum. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071049

Hummel, D., Jahn, T., Keil, F., Liehr, S., Stieß, I., 2017. Social Ecology as Critical, Transdisciplinary Science—Conceptualizing, Analyzing and Shaping Societal Relations to Nature. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071050

Kramm, J., Pichler, M., Schaffartzik, A., Zimmermann, M., 2017. Societal Relations to Nature in Times of Crisis—Social Ecology’s Contributions to Interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071042

Liehr, S., Röhrig, J., Mehring, M., Kluge, T., 2017. How the Social-Ecological Systems Concept Can Guide Transdisciplinary Research and Implementation: Addressing Water Challenges in Central Northern Namibia. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071109

Mehring, M., Zajonz, U., Hummel, D., 2017. Social-Ecological Dynamics of Ecosystem Services: Livelihoods and the Functional Relation between Ecosystem Service Supply and Demand—Evidence from Socotra Archipelago, Yemen and the Sahel Region, West Africa. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071037

Schaffartzik, A., Pichler, M., 2017. Extractive Economies in Material and Political Terms: Broadening the Analytical Scope. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071047

Schleyer, C., Lux, A., Mehring, M., Görg, C., 2017. Ecosystem Services as a Boundary Concept: Arguments from Social Ecology. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071107

Völker, C., Kramm, J., Kerber, H., Schramm, E., Winker, M., Zimmermann, M., 2017. More Than a Potential Hazard—Approaching Risks from a Social-Ecological Perspective. Sustainability 9. https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071039


Like us on Facebook

Institute of Social Ecology Vienna (SEC)
Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Wien, Graz (AAU)
A-1070 Vienna, Schottenfeldgasse 29, Austria
sec.newsletter [at] aau.at

To unsubscribe simply reply to this email with “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

Der Beitrag IFF Social Ecology e-Newsletter Nr. 39 – January 2018 erschien zuerst auf Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt.

Source: AAU TEWI