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no later than 30 June 2023.

The Gulbenkian Commission had in its 1996 report “Opening the Social Sciences” discussed the present situation in the social sciences, but not given clear answers for their future development, as has been criticised in the sociological discourse (Wearne 1998 in “The American Sociologist”). What opening towards the future meant remained unclear : it was not a clear plea for an opening towards inter- and transdisciplinary knowledge creation and integration, that was already on the way at that time. Moreover, the report did not answer, how the social sciences can, after the two liberations from the church and the state in the course of modernisation, liberate from the third dependence that is dominant today, that from economic power, business and marketing control, as Wearne writes.

The thematic issue planned has the aim to assess and reflect the experience with the interdisciplinary opening of the social sciences since the Gulbenkian report, that happened in paradigmatic forms with the concepts of inter- and transdisciplinarity, describing new forms of knowledge production. Both terms include a variety of knowledge practices that show similarities. In this issue we want to collect about 15-20 articles that analyse the interdisciplinary trends in human ecology and the environmental sciences, where sociological and ecological knowledge is required and needs to be integrated. The oldest interdisciplinary subject in this sense, the core theme of the special issue, is human ecology ; newer subjects originating from that in the course of the 20th century include cultural-, social-, and political ecology. Recent developments include sustainability science and transformation research, that show the connections to the interdisciplinary discourses about sustainable development in science and politics.


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