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.




A period in which human activities have become a significant, even dominant force impacting the functioning of the Earth system. It is suggested that this began with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, a point in time which coincides with the first signals of increasing global concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane, as measured in air trapped in polar ice. The impact of human activity has begun to equal the measurable impact of geological forces, in speed and intensity, creating a novel situation that poses new questions and requires new ways of thinking and acting.


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