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The international community’s responses to the socio-ecological problems that took off in the 20th century have been framed around the concept of ‘sustainable development’.
The ecological pressure from human societies, however, has continued to rise since the Brundtland report (WCED, 1987), and the anthropocentric sustainability discourse has proven to be problematic (Purser et al., 1995; McShane, 2007). At the core of the conventional sustainability agenda is an instrumental view of the non-human world, empirically unfounded ideas of technological salvation, and the premise of ‘substitutability’ between human and natural capitals (e.g. Bonnedahl and Eriksson, 2007; Heikkurinen and Bonnedahl, 2013). This current trajectory of ‘progress’ is problematic not only as it reproduces inequalities and jeopardises future wellbeing of humans but also from an ecocentric perspective, which sees nonhumans as intrinsically valuable (see Heikkurinen, 2017).
This is a call for authors that wish to present alternatives and challenge today’s unsustainable societies.
We welcome manuscripts that investigate and advance pathways for humanity that are realistic in the ecological sense, ethical in an inclusive manner, and wise in terms of comprehension of the task’s magnitude and urgency.
We therefore highly appreciate proposals that confront the traditional anthropocentric ethos and ontology, mainstream economic growth-dogma, programmes of ecological modernism, and assumptions of weak sustainability. We invite manuscripts on different levels of analysis, from the individual to the biosphere, as well as both conceptual and empirical contributions.
Papers can address the economic or financial system, certain discourses or practices, changes in key sectors, delve into alternative lifestyles or into experiences of local and native societies. Authors may also examine the human–nature or inter-species relations or deal with question of needs, wealth and intra- or intergenerational justice. In the task of imagining the required modes for organising human activity in societies, the common thread that will run through the chapters is the premise of strong sustainability (see e.g. Holland, 1997; Neumayer, 2002).