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About the Environmental Studies Section
The aim of ESS/ISA is to seek a better understanding of the reciprocal influence of natural and human systems within global, regional, and national contexts, and to promote scholarly interactions among social and natural scientists and policy-makers interested in these issues.
Following the prominence of global, regional and national environmental issues and the active scholarly interest they have raised, the section has experienced steady growth since 1983, both in the number of members and in the number and variety of panels offered at annual meetings. The Section is thus blessed with highly dynamic and enthusiastic members.
Because of its subject matter, the section is very diverse, gathering scholars from different disciplines concerned with environmental issues, who reflect widely different theoretical perspectives, and come from all continents (except Africa); in that sense, it may be one of the more “international” sections of ISA. It has also special links with transnational programs, such as the ISSC`s Human Dimension of Global Change Program.
A large number of our members are extremely active in the Section. Many are highly active in international programs, institutions, networks, and conferences dealing with global or regional environmental policy-making.
Most significant publications in the field of environmental studies involve Section members, many of whom have thereby significantly contributed to the development of theory in the field of international relations as a whole.
The section administers the ISA annual Harold and Margaret Sprout award given for the best book or article published in the field of international environmental politics.
In the last few years, the ESS has strengthened and diversified its activities and services to its members by:
supporting the publication of the Section Newsletter. The Newsletter is highly valued by the Section members and is currently edited by Richard Matthew and Bryan McDonald at the University of California, Irvine;
developing an electronic network and Newsletter;
establishing travel grants for Junior scholars;
thanks to Michael Maniates, establishing a discussion list (open to all) on teaching global environmental politics;
creating its own web site (developed by Ron Mitchell and currently administered by Rachel Tiller);
sponsoring other scholarly meetings.
Initiatives that aim to reinforce links among members, facilitate the development of joint research projects, promote policy involvement and feedback, support the dissemination of individual research, and further diversify the membership are under discussion.