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.


The human dimensions of global environmental change

Cross-national surveys indicate that environmental issues are not the main concern in any country or region, and from 1993-2010 there were, on average, no large or consistent trends in public concern with climate change. Climate change is the environmental issue mentioned as the most important in ten of the 33 countries and regions surveyed in 2010. There is no international consensus, although in general, richer nations are more concerned than poorer nations are. Younger generations mention global warming more often than older generations.


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