Extended CFP: Australia and the One Earth: Engaging with global environmental governance since Stockholm, 1972

Alessandro Antonello's picture

Call for papers

EXTENDED DEADLINE - 15 November 2021


Australia and the One Earth: Engaging with global environmental governance since Stockholm, 1972

April 11th – 13th, 2022

Adelaide, Australia



Dr. Alessandro Antonello, Flinders University

Assoc. Prof. Cassandra Star, Flinders University

Assoc. Prof. Ruth Morgan, ANU

Dr. Emily O’Gorman, Macquarie University


Keynote speakers

Professor Sverker Sörlin, KTH Stockholm

Professor Susan Park, University of Sydney


In June 1972, 114 nations gathered in Stockholm for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. It was the first major international conference dealing with the subject of ‘the environment’. In the fifty years since, the international architecture for dealing with environmental problems has expanded, with a range of intergovernmental organisations, a library of international environmental treaties, and regular international conferences trying to address problems. Alongside these intergovernmental structures, a global civil society dedicated to environmental sustainability and justice has also developed.

Australian governments and non-governmental organisations have been engaged in these international cooperative efforts since the time of the Stockholm Conference, and even before. Australian commitment to these international structures has fluctuated considerably over these decades: at some points, including the foundational Stockholm moment, the Australian government has been committed to creating strong international environmental institutions; at other times it has led in particular areas, including for Antarctica and whaling; and at other times, including the present, it seems to flippantly ignore global action regarding climate change or the biodiversity crisis.

For the fiftieth anniversary of the Stockholm conference in 2022, we convene this interdisciplinary conference to understand and assess Australia’s engagement with global environmental issues and frameworks for action.

We invite papers from all humanities and social science disciplines—but are especially eager to solicit papers from history, international relations, and political science. This anniversary is a valuable moment in which to assess and reassess Australia’s part in international environmental history. While some topics have been dealt with in existing literature, other elements of this subject demand further analysis. We hope this conference might catalyse new, empirically rich research in this area.

We seek papers on a wide range of topics and from a diversity of disciplinary and methodological approaches, especially on the following:

  • Australia’s participation in the major UN environment conferences (including the Stockholm Conference in 1972, the Rio Conference on Environment and Development in 1992, and the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, among others)
  • Australia’s participation in international or multilateral environmental forums and organisations, like UNEP, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the IPCC and UNFCCC, the IUCN, or the environmental arms of the OECD or World Bank
  • Australia’s environmental diplomacy (broadly conceived to include not only nature conservation or pollution, but population, trade, and other major international issues with environmental elements)
  • Australian engagements with the development of global environmental norms (polluter pays, precautionary principle, intergenerational equity, among many others)
  • The Australian states and international environmental action
  • Australian parliaments and international environmental politics
  • the relationship between global environmental governance and Australian ecosystems, environments and places
  • Global and transnational environmental activism by Australians
  • human rights and environmental justice in global environmental governance
  • cultures of global environmentalism in Australia
  • Australian corporations and global environmental impacts
  • the environment and Australian overseas aid
  • reception of global environmental ideas (for example, the reception of major texts in environmental history, like Limits To Growth)
  • tensions of elite actors (scientists, officials) and mass movement environmentalism
  • environmentalism on university campuses
  • histories of Australian science, including biographical studies of Australian scientists, and global environmental research

Presentations and abstract submissions

To propose a paper, please send an abstract of 200–300 words and a short biography to Alessandro Antonello (alessandro.antonello@flinders.edu.au) by 15 November 2021.

Organisation details

Covid-permitting, we hope to host this conference in-person in Adelaide for Australian participants between 20 and 22 April 2022. International participants are welcome to present virtually. There will be no registration costs and we aim to provide some funds to support the attendance of some participants, especially postgraduate students and early-career scholars. If an in-person meeting is not possible, we will host a virtual conference.

Depending on the range and contents of the papers, we aim to bring the papers together into a published collection—details to be discussed at the conference.


Dr Alessandro Antonello, alessandro.antonello@flinders.edu.au