RN12 - Environment and Society

RN Coordinator:

Matthias Gross, Helmholtz Centre of Environmental Research, Leipzig and University of Jena, Germany


The theme of the 12th conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA) is “Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination.” In accordance with this theme, RN12 will critically focus on the environmental dimensions of contemporary inequalities and justice issues as well as the sociological imagination to fathom new ways of conceptualizing human development in the natural environment. Our sociological focus will be on areas as diverse as water management, social movements, renewable energies, human-animal relations, air and soil pollution, environmental risks, the role of science and technology in environmental innovation, and vulnerability to natural and technological disasters. We aim to explore issues of environment and society from diverse theoretical, methodological and empirical points of view keeping an eye on practice orientation of sociological research.

We invite you submit abstracts to the session themes listed below. Topics addressed in the RN 12 sessions include, but should not be restricted by those listed below:


01RN12.           Social Theory and the Environment

02RN12.           Sociology and Climate Change

03RN12.           Natural Disasters, Resilience, and Vulnerability

04RN12.           Renewable and Non-renewable Energies 

05RN12.           Social, Environmental, and Financial Pillars of Sustainability

06RN12.           (Un-)Sustainable Consumption

07RN12.           Risk, Rationality and Environmental Decision Making

08RN12.           Local and Global Food Chains

09RN12.           Environmental Communication, Values, and Attitudes

10RN12.           Participation, Citizenship and Environmental Democracy

11RN12.           Science, Technology, and Environmental Innovation

12RN12.           Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

13RN12.           Energy Transitions and Sociological Theory

14RN12.           Governance and Management of Water

15RN12.           Environmental Justice

16RN12.           New Trends in Environmental Movements Research

17RN12.           Urban Structures and Environmental Change

18RN12.           Transition Theory and Environmental Reform

19RN12.           Human-Animal Studies and Environmental Sociology

20RN12.           Corporate Social Responsibility and the Circular Economy

21RN12.           Environment & Society (open session for new trends in environment and society research not covered in the topics above)


We are open for additional topics as long as they can be accommodated in the conference schedule. Authors from outside of Europe are especially welcome to submit abstracts and participate in the sessions.

The language of the abstract should be English. Acceptance of the abstract will be based on the following criteria:

• Does the abstract indicate that the paper will make an original, understandable, and meaningful contribution to environment and society debates?

• If the paper presents new empirical material it must be clear from the abstract upon which research any of the conclusions for environment and society debates are based.

• If the paper mainly presents new theoretical considerations it must be clear from the abstract which existing theories and concepts the paper is in discussion with, and which new insights will be added to the debates.


Notes for authors

Authors are invited to submit their abstract either to the general session or any specific session. Please submit only to one session. After abstract evaluation, coordinators will have the chance to transfer papers between sessions where applicable.

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words. Each paper session will have the duration of 1.5 hours. Normally sessions will include 4 papers.

Abstracts must be submitted online to the submission platform, see below. Abstracts sent by email cannot be accepted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed and selected for presentation by the Research Network; the letter of notification will be sent by the conference software system in early April 2015.

Abstract submission deadline (extended):                                                                                                15th February 2015

Abstract submission platform:                                                                                         www.esa12thconference.eu

If you have further questions on the conference, please visit the conference website. For further information on the Research Network, please visit www.europeansociology.org