The eminent contributors to this volume explores the complex terrain of the interface between the social sciences and environmental research. Coming from a range of Social Science disciplines, they argue that environmental questions will increasingly dominate humanity in the course of the coming century. This reality holds out an opportunity, and indeed practical necessity, of stimulating important new lines of theoretical development within the social sciences as well as new forms of intellectual cooperation across them. Taking sustainability as the potential common term of reference which can help generate problems to which responses must be found, this volume seeks: * To clarify the meaning and analytical implications of sustainability from a social sciences perspective in order to establish starting points for new research; * To explore the potential contributions of different social science disciplines to the sustainability debate; * And more ambitiously, to suggest ways in which the conceptual implications of sustainability can promote a reorientation of the social sciences themselves.
Egon Becker is Professor for Theory of Science and Sociology of Higher Education at the University of Frankfurt. Thomas Jahn is Executive Director of the Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE), Frankfurt.