As communities and nations around the world grapple with environmental change, including climate change, and the challenge of sustainability, there is increasing attention to the role that values play and might play in enabling biosphere stewardship and transformation. Furthermore, there is a widening view of values to extend beyond the appreciation of nature itself (intrinsic values) and the appreciation of what nature does for us (instrumental values), to include preferences, principles and virtues about human-nature relationships (relational values). By giving a common framework for ideas long studied in a range of disciplines, the concept of relational values may serve as a tool for interdisciplinary integration and the meaningful inclusion of the social sciences and interdisciplinary approaches on values into sustainability science.
In order to realize this opportunity, Ikerbasque Professor Unai Pascual from the Basque Centre for Climate Change is putting together a special issue in the journal Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, together with Prof. Kai Chan (University of British Columbia, Canada) and Dr. Rachelle Gould (University of Vermont, USA). The objective of the special issue is to provide the foundation for interdisciplinary exchange. Submissions are welcome that review the history of scholarship in a variety of disciplines on relational values, including methods and findings. Deadline for extended abstracts: 15th September 2017.
Because relational values encompass a diversity of separable concepts (e.g., kinship, stewardship, responsibility for nature, responsibility for people affected by environmental change), reviews are sought to delve into the range of evidence available about particular relational concepts. In addition, conceptual contributions are also welcome that seek to lay the conceptual and methodological foundations for an interdisciplinary study of relational values.
The special issue would be relevant for a wide readership and especially for people engaged in various disciplines such as sustainability science, environmental ethics, environmental psychology, environmental sociology, ecological economics, anthropology, and associated fields. Potential authors are welcome to check two recent publications on this topic where relational values are introduced (Chan et al., 2016) and connected to current science-policy approaches regarding environmental values (Pascual et al, 2017).
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