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.



Models of human behaviour in social-ecological systems

Environmental change research often relies on simplistic, static models of human behaviour in social-ecological systems. This limits understanding of how social-ecological change occurs. Integrative, process-based behavioural models, which include feedbacks between action, and social and ecological system structures and dynamics, can inform dynamic policy assessment in which decision making is internalised in the model. These models focus on dynamics rather than states. They stimulate new questions and foster interdisciplinarity between and within the natural and social sciences.


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