Reminder Call for Abstracts -- Contested Terrains: Cities and the [Im]Possibilities for Transitions to Just Sustainabilities

Mary Buchanan's picture
Call for Papers
August 31, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Geography, Human Rights, Sociology, Urban History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies

Call for Abstracts -- Contested Terrains: Cities and the [Im]Possibilities for Transitions to Just Sustainabilities

Recent events have served to remind us of the enormity of the challenges associated with transitioning towards what Julian Agyeman has described as just sustainabilities-ensuring a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems (1). Three especially important developments are the United Kingdom's June 2016 vote on Brexit, the November 2016 election of Donald Trump in the United States, and the United States' withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement in June 2017. All three examples are remarkable for the degree of conflict that they have sparked. While differences of opinion are hallmark ingredients of politics, these recent contestations are particularly noteworthy not so much for the depth of the value-driven rifts that they have exposed within society, but rather for the vastly different dispositions with respect to scientific evidence, facts, and logic, that have become apparent. As a result our increasingly globalized society is approaching a crossroads. Deliberations that take place at this critical juncture will reshape society by determining whether we move towards-or away from-just sustainabilities.

The proximate question that we are seeking to understand in this book is: "What do Brexit, Trump's election, and the US's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement mean for global climate change and the [im]possibility of achieving Sustainable Cities around the world, let alone just ones?"

We are soliciting book chapters containing case studies of contestations surrounding the transition to just sustainabilities in cities that illustrate the wide range of conflicts happening around the world that are (re)shaping the discourse and practice of sustainability physically as well as socially.

Of particular interest will be submissions that explore the following questions:

  • Who in terms of constructions and intersections of race, class, gender, nationality, political affiliation, institutional context, religion, and place is contesting what and how and why?
  • What form(s) in terms of political, economic, social manifestations have these contestations taken in cities and why?
  • How have narratives around different understandings and constructions of climate change, progress, energy, resources, sustainability, and justice shaped these contestations in cities?
  • What are the implications of communities/cities/nation states attempting to transition to just sustainabilities or not doing so?

Abstract submission

If you have a compelling case study that illustrates an important contestation surrounding just sustainabilities in cities please submit an abstract to by 31st August 2017. Abstracts should be 500 words or less and include the name and contact information of the author(s), including institutional affiliation(s) and email address(es). Selected authors will be notified by 15th September 2017 and will be invited to contribute a full-length book chapter (approximately 5,000 words) by 15th January 2018 with a final manuscript delivery by the end of August 2018. 

Editors: Phoebe Godfrey and Carol Atkinson-Palombo


Work Cited

(1)Agyeman, J. 2013. Introducing Sustainable Cities: Policies, Planning, and Practice: Zed Books.

Contact Info: 

Mary Buchanan

University of Connecticut

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