World Social Science Report 2013

Changing Global Environments

image of World Social Science Report 2013

Produced by the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and UNESCO, and published by the OECD, the 2013 World Social Science Report represents a comprehensive overview of the field gathering the thoughts and expertise of hundreds of social scientists from around the world.

This edition focuses on the transformative role of the social sciences in confronting climate and broader processes of environmental change, and in addressing priority problems from energy and water, biodiversity and land use, to urbanisation, migration and education.

The report includes 100 articles written by 150 authors from 41 countries all over the world. Authors represent some 24 disciplines, mainly in the social sciences.

The contributions highlight the central importance of social science knowledge for environmental change research, as a means of understanding changing environments in terms of social processes and as framework for finding concrete solutions towards sustainability.



Anthropology and environmental change from a holistic and cultural perspective

Planet Earth has entered a new epoch, the Anthropocene, in which human influence dominates nature, even on global and geological scales. This reinforces the importance of anthropology. Anthropology studies the human species, from its co-evolution, genetics and biology, to our prehistory and early civilizations, and onwards to contemporary human cultures. It examines social settings from hunter-gatherer, pastoralist and subsistence agricultural communities to multinational corporations and global institutions. It is a vital part of efforts to limit the catastrophic effects of anthropogenic environmental change, as the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA) and the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) report.


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