RC24 sessions at ISA World Congress 2006 Durban (July 23-29, 2006)
The Research Committee on Society and Environment (RC24) of the International Sociological Association (ISA) will organize 15 sessions at the ISA World Congress, to be held in Durban, South Africa, July 23-29, 2006.
To present a paper in one of the sessions, please submit an abstract to one of the two session organizers, as listed below, before October 31, 2005. RC24 will have a few travel fellowship for RC24 members from C (and B) countries.
For more information on the ISA World Congress, including hotels, fellowships, etc., see: .
Contributions are invited to the following sessions:
Civil society and the environmental state: Directions in environmental governance
Organisers: Dana Fisher, Columbia University, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org and Ingolfur Bluehdorn, University of Bath, United Kingdom, email@example.com
What can be expected from the state in terms of environmental regulation? What are the capacities and capabilities of civil society actors for environmental self-regulation? Much of the literature on environmental movements and environmentalism from below has been equally critical of the economy and the state, but has demanded (eco) political control and regulation of the economy via civil society. The literature on ecological modernisation and Third Way politics, in contrast, has strongly relied on the pro-active state as the main environmental regulator taking environmental responsibility, and on economic/market instruments for the implementation of environmental targets. However, there is evidence that the state has, at best, taken symbolic action; whilst civil society has often opposed environmental regulation imposed by the state. The workshop invites papers investigating the limited commitment of the state (and international regimes) and of civil society (including activists as well as transnational networks) as eco-political actors.
Globalisation and environment
Organisers: Timmons Roberts, The College of William and Mary, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org and Maria Tysiachniouk, Center for Independent Social Research, Russia, email@example.com
What are the elements of globalisation which are leading to the destruction of the world's environment? What elements include hopeful trends? This session will bring together diverse approaches to environmental sociology's insights into these questions.
Innovation and controversy in theories of environment and society
Organiser: Gert Spaargaren, Wageningen University, Netherlands, firstname.lastname@example.org
The past half decade or so has witnessed remarkable ferment in theory development in environmental sociology. These efforts have included theoretical innovations and new perspectives (e.g., global environmental flows), rediscovery of preexisting theories (STIRPAT elaborations of neo-Malthusianism, Jeavons paradox), and new controversies. Papers that reflect on recent theoretical advances and debates are welcome, as are papers that identify needed areas of theoretical development in environmental sociology
Environmental justice for sustainable development
Organisers: Hellmuth Lange, University of Bremen, Germany, email@example.com and Dai-Yeun Jeong, Cheju National University, Korea, firstname.lastname@example.org
A large amount of research has been done on sustainable development with a focus on the relationship between environmental preservation and economic development. Although justice is a core issue of Agenda 21 too, research on environmental justice and sustainability is still relatively rare. As a consequence, there is a substantial need for elaborating more detailed theoretical framings and, as a consequence, for conceptualising the issue in a political perspective. Therefore, this session invites contributions presenting theoretical and/or empirical findings on environmental justice in relation to sustainability
Environmental movements and environmental organisations for a sustainable future
Organisers: Koichi Hasegawa, Tohoku University, Japan, email@example.com and Bill Markham, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
This session will focus on social movements and social movement organisations that operate on the national or international level to bring about social changes that would benefit the environment and create a sustainable future. Papers that address citizens' motivations to participate in environmental movements and organisations, the internal dynamics of environmental movements and organisations, or on how such movements and organisations shape and are shaped by their host societies are welcome
Consumption and lifestyles
Organisers: Maurie Cohen, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA, email@example.com and Mette Jensen, National Environmental Research Institute, Denmark, firstname.lastname@example.org
Papers in this session will address the social, political, and cultural dimensions of sustainable consumption and lifestyles. The primary emphasis will be on household provisioning, mobility practices, and general resource consumption in affluent countries, but we also invite contributions on the environmental implications of contemporary consumption and lifestyle practices in developing nations and in a global context
Environmental attitudes and behaviors
Organisers: Riley Dunlap, University of Central Florida, USA, email@example.com and Seejae Lee, The Catholic University, Korea, firstname.lastname@example.org
Papers dealing with all aspects of what can be termed "environmental or ecological consciousness" (attitudes, beliefs, values, etc.) and behaviors are welcome, although those reporting empirical analyses (whether quantitative or qualitative) will be given preference. Papers reporting cross-national comparisons are especially welcome, but all submissions will be given consideration
Science, technology and risk
Organisers: Cecilia Claeys Mekdade, University of the Méditerranée, France, email@example.com and Gene Rosa, Washington State University, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
This session is devoted to the dynamics between scientific and technological change and risks to humans, social systems, or ecosystems. Encouraged are theoretical, empirical, and policy papers that trace the linkages of these dynamics, especially the linkages between science and technological change and emergent threats to environmental sustainability
Environmental and health issues related to food production and consumption
Organisers: Julia Guivant, Federal Santa Catalina University, Brazil, email@example.com and Ralph Matthews, University of British Columbia, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
The environmental and human health issues related to food production and food consumption have become dominant controversies of the twenty-first century. Of particularly concern are risks of genetically modified foods; the impact of industrial agriculture and husbandry on the environment; and the industrialisation of the oceans through both extensive over fishing and the extensive expansions of aquaculture. These issues are challenging the relations between science, government policies and consumers in both underdeveloped and developed countries aimed at food safety and food security. This session seeks papers which provide both conceptual and empirical analysis that casts insight into the environmental/health aspects of food production and consumption, particularly as this involves public policy, the role of science and new trends in the networks from/to table-farm
Community, natural resources, and the environment
Organisers: David Sonnenfeld, Washington State University, USA, email@example.com and Stewart Lockie, Central Queensland University, Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
This session deals with the following topics: the role of communities in natural resource management; community-driven environmental regulation; community-state and community-NGO relations in environmental policymaking; inter- and intra-community conflicts in natural resource use; gender, communities, and the environment; communities, property regimes, and the environment; research methods in communities, natural resources, and the environment; and related topics
Nature by design
Organisers: Matthias Gross, Centre for Environmental Research Leipzig-Halle, Germany, email@example.com and Kelly Moore, Brooklyn College, USA, firstname.lastname@example.org
For many environmental activists restoring and designing ecosystems is seen as a way of compensating for unavoidable exploitation and also as a basis for a positive, intimate relationship between society and the rest of nature. These activists are challenging sociological theorising about nature because they place an emphasis on interacting with nature in ways that established sociological principles cannot explain. Furthermore, while acknowledging that the role of professional ecologists is often important, the hands-on practitioners, such as volunteers and amateurs, often achieve insights that contribute to and even challenge existing ideas about the ecology of the system being restored. In this session papers that theoretically and empirically tackle the challenge of including nature into sociological thinking are invited for submission. This for instance includes theoretical and empirical work in ecological restoration, adaptive management, urban park design, ecological field experiments, and related fields
African environments: the impact of global apartheid?
Organisers: Jacklyn Cock, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, email@example.com and David Fig, South Africa, firstname.lastname@example.org
Africa is characterised by increasing poverty, aids and environmental degradation. The challenge of the twenty first century is whether it can reverse this pattern of exclusion which is partly a legacy of colonial role. In order to incentivise participants attending the Africa session, a field trip will be organised to the South Durban basin. This area contains all the contradictions; it is a living case study from which we can generalise about African environments
Current research in environmental sociology
Organisers: Arthur Mol, Wageningen University, Netherlands, email@example.com and Ray Murphy, University of Ottawa, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
This session will look into recent developments in environmental sociology, both theoretically and empirically
Disasters and the Environment
Joint session with Research Committee on Sociology of Disasters, RC39
Organisers: Ray Murphy, University of Ottawa, Canada, email@example.com and Joe Scanlon, Carleton University, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org
Disasters have been referred to as 'the monitor of development', as 'unpaid bills', and as an externalised 'debt of development'. They are symptomatic of the adaptive fitness of society's relationship to its environment. Sustainability and disaster are inversely related, especially when one recognises that disasters are not always sudden and can also be slow-onset. The intensified activities of industrialisation have exacerbated vulnerability and will likely increase the frequency and cost of disasters in the 21st Century. Cultural expectations of safety and invulnerability can lead to disastrous consequences by encouraging social constructions that are incompatible with nature's constructions. Environmental problems act as catalysts of disaster and disasters can exacerbate environmental problems. Environmental sociology consists of the investigation of potential disasters involving the material environment. Disasters give a preview of what could happen if environmental problems are not solved. Findings of 'failures of prophecy', 'incubation of disaster', 'catastrophic mistakes', 'normal accidents', 'man-made disasters', 'repeat disasters', 'disasters by design', and 'unnatural disasters' have an ominous ring for environmental sociologists who seek to learn more not only about the social construction of environmental perceptions, discourse and practices but also about their material consequences. This session seeks to broaden and deepen the perspectives of both disaster sociology and environmental sociology through a dialogue between them
New technologies, public participation and environmental monitoring: New possibilities for public engagement?
Organisers: Steven Yearly, University of York , United Kingdom, email@example.com and Maria Eugénia Rodrigues, University of York, United Kingdom, firstname.lastname@example.org
This session aims to gather international case-study and conceptual analysis that looks at the idea that new forms of portable and publicly available technologies (from cell phones, picture-phones, laptops, small sensing devices and so on) could be used to spread access to monitoring capability. Such developments might also allow people to monitor "the environment" in ways which fit with their own understanding/evaluation of the environment. Thus, the idea is to look at some examples which might be seen as exemplifying this democratising trend but also to invite critical analysis, both in principle and practice.
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