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NESS - Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference: Emergency and transformation

If global environmental changes, including climate change, have taken decades to build up to an emergency, last year saw the almost instantaneous spread of a fatal virus that in a matter of weeks pushed global society into a humanitarian crisis, and soon also into a deep economic crisis. The 15th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference, hosted by the School of Global Studies will be a chance for environmental social scholars to meet and discuss where the crises have brought us. Due to expected restrictions, the conference will take place as two different events: First, on June 7-9 2021 with some open online events, and second, from June 7-9 2022 as the full NESS conference.

Dates and venues

7-9 June 2021 NESS Online events 

7-9 June 2022 NESS Conference at the School of Global Studies, Gothenburg, Sweden.

NESS Online events 2021

7-9 June 2021 

NESS hosts a number of webinar events with speakers on the conference theme and on workshop themes, including possibilities to network. The online events will be open and there will be no conference registration fee.

The program and registration for the online events will be posted during spring 2021.

 

NESS Conference 2022

7-9 June 2022 at the School of Global Studies, Gothenburg, Sweden.

When it rains it pours. If global environmental changes, including climate change, have taken decades to build up to an emergency, last year saw the almost instantaneous spread of a fatal virus that in a matter of weeks pushed global society into a humanitarian crisis, and soon also into a deep economic crisis. The Covid-19 emergency will most definitely be a watershed in modern history, but where the rain will flow is too early to tell.

The 15th Nordic Environmental Social Science Conference (NESS), hosted by the School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg 7-9 June 2022, will be a chance for environmental social scholars to meet and discuss where the crises have brought us. What are the urgent contributions of environmental social science to these emergencies? Is the crisis an opportunity for accelerating since long necessary green transformations or a moment for patience, where resources should be directed toward the most urgent needs? Either or – what are the lessons learned by the Covid-19 crisis for a green transformation? Is the ‘strong society’ now back on the arena after decades of liberalizations, marketizations, and ‘just in time’? What are, then, the implications for democracy, governance, economic policies, and public discourses?

While the interconnectedness of emergency and transformation will gain special attention during the conference, we welcome contributions in areas related, but not restricted, to climate change, biodiversity, food, water, energy, natural resource extraction, bio-economy, rural and urban sustainability, and conservation. The conference workshops will cover various aspects of environmental social science, from the local to the global, from empirical papers over policy-relevant papers to conceptual and theoretical contributions. As is the tradition of NESS, the workshops are at the center of the conference, with plenty of time devoted to presentation and discussion of submitted papers.

Conference structure 

The NESS conference consists of on the one hand common events, such as keynote speeches, joint panels, and social activities, and on the other, several workshops. The workshops – where junior and senior scholars meet and discuss common themes – are the central activity of this conference. The workshops follow a standing session format (similar to ECPR), which allows for substantive discussions on research in progress. The topics for discussion are defined by the individual workshop themes, and scholars currently working on the themes will be invited to participate.

The overall objective of the workshops is to facilitate and encourage participation and collaboration across social sciences, between younger and more established scholars and across countries. In order to achieve this, the size of each workshop is limited so that adequate time is allowed for each contribution. Each participant is expected to be carrying out research relating to the theme of the workshop, able to submit and present a paper (or work in progress) for the discussion or participate as a discussant. The ambition with this format is that the workshops allow for in-depth and coherent discussions of the respective themes and provide opportunities for potential joint publications or other continuing collaborations between the participants.

Call for workshop papers

The conference participants can apply with an abstract no later than January 31, 2022, to a specific workshop of their individual choice (see description of workshops). The conference invites scholars from multiple disciplinary backgrounds in environmental social science. Conference participants are encouraged to take advantage of the online events June 7-9 2021 to learn more about the workshop themes and link up with the scholarly community interested in the respective themes. 

NESS workshops

There are still openings for workshops. If you are interested in hosting a workshop, contact the organizers as soon as possible at ness@globalstudies.gu.se.

Transformative Change for a Green Industry: Nordic Experiences and Challenges 
Hans Hellsmark, Chalmers, Patrik Söderholm, Luleå University of Technology 

Social science contributions to the biodiversity agenda. Focus on approaches, frameworks and concepts
Elizabeth Barron, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Håkon B. Stokland, (NINA), Marie Stenseke, Human Geography, University of Gothenburg

Exploring grassroots initiatives for transitions
Karin Bradley, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Erica Löfström, NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Environmental policy attitudes in an era of multiple crises 
Niklas Harring, CeCAR, University of Gothenburg & Steffen Kallbekken, CICERO, Oslo

Green Innovation Policy – exploring the Green Deal Foundations
Mikael Skou Andersen, Aarhus University, Rauno Sairinen, University of Eastern Finland

Human-wildlife conflicts and the use of natural resources
Pekka Salmi and Kristina Svels, Natural Resources Institute, Finland, Milena Arias Schreiber, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg

Just Transition and the Role of the State
Robyn Eckersley, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne 
Gunnhildur Magnusdottír, Global Political Studies, Malmö University
Benedict E. Singleton, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg

Narrating transformation: Urgency, emergency and hope in a time of multiple crises Alexandra Nikoleris, Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Lund University, Josefin Wangel (SLU), Peter Pelzer, Utrecht University

What can science deliver and what does policy want? Science-policy interactions and climate action
Linda Soneryd and Göran Sundqvist, Sociology/STS, University of Gothenburg, Erlend Hermansen, CICERO 

Subjectivities, skills and social formations for sustainable food
Maris Gillette, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Cristina Grasseni, Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University 

Governing a sustainable transformation - The role of knowledge, expertise and the reflexivity of public institutions 
Monika Berg and Karin Gustafsson, Environmental sociology section, Örebro University,
Johan Munck af Rosenschöld, Centre for Philosophy of Social Science, Helsinki University

Incorporating the environment in urban planning 
Ingegärd Eliasson and Susanne Fredholm, Department of conservation, Petra Adolfsson, Department of Business Administration, University of Gothenburg

Urban governance for sustainable cities
Olga Stepanova, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg

Psychological and behavioral effects of emergencies: implications for sustainability
TBA
 

The organizer

The host, the School of Global Studies, is an interdisciplinary department consisting of several social sciences, including peace and development research, human ecology, and social anthropology. The organizing committee is further broadened to include environmental social scientists from several departments at the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology. Together, we welcome Nordic and international researchers to NESS 2021 and 2022 to stress the important role of environmental social science in times of emergency and transformation.