Environmental Social Sciences: Challenges and Solutions for Sustainable Development

Call for Abstracts

Anthropogenic climate change, biodiversity loss, and the global crisis of food systems are among the most demanding challenges for the integrity of ecosystems and social systems alike. Profound collective efforts toward an energy and land transition are vital to sustain and enhance (human) well-being. By nature, viable solutions to environmental problems require interdisciplinary research encompassing different perspectives that are essential to evaluate the potentials and challenges associated with proposed solutions. Hence, the various disciplines within the social sciences can gain further insight by incorporating the diverse perspectives and approaches of the different fields.

Drawing on the successful initial symposium held at the University of Bern in August 2020, we invite you to join the 2nd meeting on “Environmental Social Sciences: Challenges and Solutions for Sustainable Development”. We want to create and continue an international forum for analytical-empirical environmental social scientists to foster interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration especially among young scholars. The aim is to harvest the synergies between the social sciences for fruitful interdisciplinary research that the solution of environmental problems demands.

Thus, we highly welcome contributions from the fields of sociology, economics, psychology, geography, political sciences, communication studies, education, or related research areas. Contributions may address the following topics, but are not limited to:

  • climate change mitigation and adaptation,

  • the causes and consequences of environmental deterioration,

  • adaption, acceptance and support of new sustainable technologies, mitigation

    strategies and environmental policies,

  • individual environmental attitudes and behaviour,

  • environmental social dilemmas,

  • the geographical and social distribution of environmental hazards,

  • the link between political action, economic performance and sustainability, and

  • methodological aspects of environmental studies in the social sciences.


We especially appreciate contributions from researchers in an early stage of their career. The number of participants is limited to 30. The meeting is organised like a “mini conference”, and participants will present and discuss their research (20 min. talk and 10 min. Q&A or poster).

The meeting takes place at the Nuffield College of the University of Oxford, United Kingdom from Wednesday 28, 14:00, to Friday 30 July 2021, 13:15. We will have a meeting dinner at Nuffield College. The meeting fee including provisions for coffee breaks, lunch and the meeting dinner is around 30 £. Furthermore, we are happy to provide special conditions for accommodation in some hotels downtown Oxford. Details will be available upon registration. Due to funding from the Academy of Sociology and Nuffield College, we are also able to provide a limited number of travel grants (400 £ each) for young researchers without other funding opportunities.

To apply for the meeting, please send an abstract (max. 1 page) describing your research project or paper to envisoc@nuffield.ox.ac.uk until 11 April 2021. If you want to apply for the travel grant, please submit a separate document (max. 1 page) outlining why you are an excellent candidate and entitled to benefit. Applicants will be informed about the outcome of their submission in late April. The preliminary program will be announced in early May by the time the registration opens.

We look forward to your interesting contribution and hope to see you in Oxford this summer, Tobias Rüttenauer* and Sebastian Mader°

*Nuffield College, University of Oxford
°Institute of Sociology, University of Bern