Opening Windows

Call for Chapters in a new ‘state of knowledge’ edited volume on society and natural resources:

Opening Windows:
 Emerging Perspectives, Practices and Opportunities in Natural Resource Social Sciences

Key themes:

Global Voices: Whose voices and knowledge are we missing from the English language literature on society and natural resources?

Power and Privilege: Who has power and who doesn’t in shaping research and the trajectory of natural resource transitions, and how do these imbalances propagate?

Relevance and Impact: What role do society and natural resource experts play in natural resource transitions and how can our work be more impactful?

These questions and more guide our thinking about the field of society and natural resources in the face of unprecedented global challenges and the spectre of technical solutions. We thus invite abstracts for chapters in an edited volume assessing the state of research and scholarship in the field of society and natural resources.

This volume is being co-edited by Kate Sherren (Dalhousie University), Gladman Thondhlana (Rhodes University) and Douglas Jackson-Smith (Ohio State University) with the support of the International Association of Society and Natural Resources (IASNR) and its Society and Natural Resources Book Series Editorial Board.

The book is scheduled to be published with the Utah State University/University Press of Colorado in 2024, timing that is designed to continue the pattern of decadal reviews in the field, following from volumes in 2004 and 2014 (Manfredo, 2004; Manfredo et al., 2014). As with those two prior volumes, we will target the launch of the book at an ISSRM/IASNR Conference, with funding sought to support the distribution of the volume to all attendees. Additional expected audiences include students, researchers and instructors of social science and natural resources, and natural resources managers seeking the state of the art.

Diverse author teams are welcomed, including across geography, stage of career and identity; where two or more abstracts are submitted for similar themes, the editors may connect the authors and encourage a shared submission.

Graphics are welcome to enrich the text, including photos, but must be designed for black and white production, and be essential to the work (e.g. location maps or photos of case examples, conceptual diagrams, synthesis tables and figures). No supplemental materials can be included.

Two types of submission are invited, none of which are intended to be original empirical research beyond the use of exemplar case studies (ideally cross-case comparisons) and the option to adopt systematic/scoping approaches to literature reviews instead of narrative ones.

Commentaries: 1500-2000 -word opinion pieces (references included) about any aspect of the state of the field, requiring less support in terms of literature. These submissions can present strengths and/or gaps, elucidate debates, and/or provide/compare perspectives on how the field looks in different parts of the world, and within and across different fields of study.

Review papers: 5000-7000-word reviews (references included) of a targeted area of the theoretical and empirical literature, potentially to be organized along the following four categories. Sample subject areas not comprehensive but included only as prompts for thinking, based on editor reviews of trends in the SNR journal and IASNR conferences. The first does not have temporal constraints, but the latter three we are focusing on developments since approximately 2010, placed in an earlier context.

  • Global Insights. This chapter type is for reviews (written in English) predominantly of academic scholarship published in specific non-English languages. Such chapters are designed to increase the visibility of researchers working in other languages and make their ideas accessible to those working in English, enabling a more global conversation in the field. Linkages to the English language literature are expected but need not be comprehensive (similarities/differences). Any topic is welcome in this category.
  • Advances in Theory and Methods. This chapter type will explore how we are innovating in how we do our research, including in terms of:
    • Theoretical and conceptual issues: What are the contemporary theoretical tensions and emerging ideas guiding scholarship in society and natural resources? Possible topics include concepts such as sense of place, trust, resource dependency, management/governance, participation/engagement, risks/hazards, sustainability/resilience, power, access, equity and justice.;
    • New methods/methodologies: How do we operationalize key theoretical concepts? Possible topics include geospatial modeling, multi-level analysis, social/mass media analysis, discourse analysis, ethnography, participatory approaches/co-production, citizen/community science, systems analysis, ecosystem service assessment Indigenous research methodologies, ethnography.
  • Progress in Core and Emerging Problems. This chapter type summarizes the literature on classic problem domains for the field, such as conservation and wildlife, tourism and recreation, wildfire, fisheries, forestry, agriculture, amenities, water, as well as emerging ones such as energy transitions, climate change adaptation, urban greenspace, and pandemics. These chapters can include a mix of theoretical, methodological and application synthesis to provide a state of the art of specific domains or issues.
  • Trends in Action and Application. This chapter type describes examples of how natural resource social science scholarship has (and has not) been used or translated into on-ground outcomes, by influencing how resource challenges are conceived of or tackled and with whom. Partnerships with practitioner authors are particularly welcome in this category, or other grass-roots orientation, as with SNR practice-based knowledge papers. Case studies are welcome in this section, but ideally cross-case comparisons including multiple jurisdictions.

Planned Timeline

Those who have organized or published in edited volumes before will realize that despite it being 2021, hitting that 2024 timeline requires hard deadlines along the way. Submission of an abstract implies an agreement to meet these deadlines, currently anticipated as follows:

  1. Abstract submission deadline – February 28, 2021
  2. Notification of acceptance – May 31, 2021
  3. Draft chapters due for peer review – Dec 31, 2021
  4. Peer review results – March 31, 2022 (authors may be asked to review one other submission)
  5. Final chapter revisions – June 30, 2022
  6. Compilation and SNR book series Editorial Board/USU/University Press of Colorado review, revision – Dec 31, 2022 to February 28-2023
  7. Proofing and production follows – estimated 12 months by publisher – for spring 2024 publication

Step 1. Abstract submission

Please send a title, 500-word proposed abstract, and author list (including corresponding author contact details) by clicking here, by February 28, 2021.

The form also asks for 5 keywords, an estimated final length, and that you indicate the submission category you think best fits of the above list.

Inquiries can be made to any member of the editorial team: Kate Sherren ([email protected]), Gladman Thondhlana ([email protected]) and Douglas Jackson-Smith ([email protected])