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.



Social and environmental change in a complex, uncertain world

Introduction to Part 1

Global environmental change is a potentially catastrophic and increasingly urgent problem for humanity. It is relevant to individuals, organisations and governments everywhere. But what exactly makes it so? How is the world changing around us, and how and where can the course and conditions of such change be altered? What role can and must the social sciences play in such efforts? These are the “big picture” questions tackled in Part 1, questions that expose the complexity and urgency of global environmental change, and locate it at the centre of the quest to secure a sustainable future for all.


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