Book Content Summary
This book argues that social and environmental policy should be synthetically treated as one and the same field, that both are but two aspects of the same coin – if sustainability is the goal. Such a paradigm shift is indicated, important, and timely to effectively move towards sustainability. This book is the first to take this approach and to give examples for it.
Not to synthetically merge the two fields has been and will continue to be highly insufficient, inefficient and contradictory for policy and public administration aiming for a transformation towards a sustainable world.
In general, social problems are dealt with in one “policy corner” and environmental problems in another. Rarely is social policy (at large) concerned with its impact on the environment or its connection with and relevance to environmental policy. Equally, environmental problems are generally not seen in conjunction with social policy, even though much environmental policy directly relates to health, nutrition, migration and other issues addressed by social policy. This book intends to correct the pattern to separate these very significant and large policy fields. Using examples from diverse academic and applied fields, it is shown how environmental policy can (and should) be thought of as social policy – and how social policy can (and should) simultaneously be seen as environmental policy. Tremendous benefits are to be expected.
This book has a trans disciplinary approach and pursues the following objectives:
- to influence and advance the discourse on “sustainability”.
- to increase the awareness that environmental policy has social policy type outcomes and is of direct relevance to social policy. Stimulate discourse about this connection.
- to increase the awareness that social policy can impact on “nature” and is of direct relevance to environmental policy. Stimulate discourse about this connection.
- to lay a foundation for reorganizing and merging social and environmental policy administrations, and to stimulate the discourse about it.
- to use the book as a platform for discussing the above issues at universities, in NGOs and in government.
- to contribute to a sustainability oriented, trans disciplinary teaching and research practice
- to enhance the emergence of universities with clear “sustainability identity” among administrators, faculty and students.
- to help introduce “sustainability” as a trans disciplinary cross-sectional perspective in all curricula (similar to “gender”, “ethnicity”, etc.).
The following market has been envisioned for this book:
- teaching in fields such as environmental sciences and policy, social sciences and policy, various other policy fields, geography, public administration, urban planning, architecture, forestry, resource management, etc.). Introductory courses on sustainability from a trans-disciplinary perspective.
- professionals and academics in the above mentioned areas
- civil society and social movement organizations active in social and environmental policy fields
- public libraries
- the general public as reached through Borders or Barnes and Noble, since the book is accessibly written and situated close to “popular academic volumes”.
Contributions, Contributors, Manuscript Size
Briefly speaking, the contributions and contributors have been selected according the following criteria:
- The book is unique and highly original. None of the material has previously been published. All contributions were written specifically for this volume. Each author was asked to address the connection between environmental and social policy and between social policy and environmental issues. In this sense, this volume has been very goal directed and “custom made”. It is not a “mere” compilation of authors’ research. In the process and discussions leading up to this volume, authors themselves had to become acquainted with the idea of peeking over the fence to identify and illustrate the synthetic nature of environmental and social policy in their work. In doing so, various levels of generalization were provided.
- Some contributions are more general in nature. Most chapters tend to be specific or based on a case study.
- None of the chapters is lengthy. The objective of the book is to present a broad spectrum of issues from various disciplines and, thus, to make possible and to optimize a broad interdisciplinary discourse.
- Contributions are written in an accessible style for the general, not specialized reader and student.
- It should be mentioned that eight of the contributors are female, eight are male. Since there is an entire discourse on “gender relations and sustainability”, see also the contribution by Lynn Duggan in this book, this may be important to readers.