Towards a relational paradigm in sustainability research, practice, and education

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Towards a relational paradigm in sustainability research, practice, and education. / Walsh, Zack; Böhme, Jessica; Wamsler, Christine.

In: Ambio, Vol. 50, No. 1, 01.2021, p. 74-84.

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@article{ce613588e1664de488df6e2b48498917,
title = "Towards a relational paradigm in sustainability research, practice, and education",
abstract = "Relational thinking has recently gained increasing prominence across academic disciplines in an attempt to understand complex phenomena in terms of constitutive processes and relations. Interdisciplinary fields of study, such as science and technology studies (STS), the environmental humanities, and the posthumanities, for example, have started to reformulate academic understanding of nature-cultures based on relational thinking. Although the sustainability crisis serves as a contemporary backdrop and in fact calls for such innovative forms of interdisciplinary scholarship, the field of sustainability research has not yet tapped into the rich possibilities offered by relational thinking. Against this background, the purpose of this paper is to identify relational approaches to ontology, epistemology, and ethics which are relevant to sustainability research. More specifically, we analyze how relational approaches have been understood and conceptualized across a broad range of disciplines and contexts relevant to sustainability to identify and harness connections and contributions for future sustainability-related work. Our results highlight common themes and patterns across relational approaches, helping to identify and characterize a relational paradigm within sustainability research. On this basis, we conclude with a call to action for sustainability researchers to co-develop a research agenda for advancing this relational paradigm within sustainability research, practice, and education.",
keywords = "Complexity, New materialism, Posthumanism, Process philosophy, Relationality, Systems theory, Sustainability Science",
author = "Zack Walsh and Jessica B{\"o}hme and Christine Wamsler",
year = "2021",
month = jan,
doi = "10.1007/s13280-020-01322-y",
language = "English",
volume = "50",
pages = "74--84",
journal = "Ambio : a Journal of the human environment",
issn = "0044-7447",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Towards a relational paradigm in sustainability research, practice, and education

AU - Walsh, Zack

AU - Böhme, Jessica

AU - Wamsler, Christine

PY - 2021/1

Y1 - 2021/1

N2 - Relational thinking has recently gained increasing prominence across academic disciplines in an attempt to understand complex phenomena in terms of constitutive processes and relations. Interdisciplinary fields of study, such as science and technology studies (STS), the environmental humanities, and the posthumanities, for example, have started to reformulate academic understanding of nature-cultures based on relational thinking. Although the sustainability crisis serves as a contemporary backdrop and in fact calls for such innovative forms of interdisciplinary scholarship, the field of sustainability research has not yet tapped into the rich possibilities offered by relational thinking. Against this background, the purpose of this paper is to identify relational approaches to ontology, epistemology, and ethics which are relevant to sustainability research. More specifically, we analyze how relational approaches have been understood and conceptualized across a broad range of disciplines and contexts relevant to sustainability to identify and harness connections and contributions for future sustainability-related work. Our results highlight common themes and patterns across relational approaches, helping to identify and characterize a relational paradigm within sustainability research. On this basis, we conclude with a call to action for sustainability researchers to co-develop a research agenda for advancing this relational paradigm within sustainability research, practice, and education.

AB - Relational thinking has recently gained increasing prominence across academic disciplines in an attempt to understand complex phenomena in terms of constitutive processes and relations. Interdisciplinary fields of study, such as science and technology studies (STS), the environmental humanities, and the posthumanities, for example, have started to reformulate academic understanding of nature-cultures based on relational thinking. Although the sustainability crisis serves as a contemporary backdrop and in fact calls for such innovative forms of interdisciplinary scholarship, the field of sustainability research has not yet tapped into the rich possibilities offered by relational thinking. Against this background, the purpose of this paper is to identify relational approaches to ontology, epistemology, and ethics which are relevant to sustainability research. More specifically, we analyze how relational approaches have been understood and conceptualized across a broad range of disciplines and contexts relevant to sustainability to identify and harness connections and contributions for future sustainability-related work. Our results highlight common themes and patterns across relational approaches, helping to identify and characterize a relational paradigm within sustainability research. On this basis, we conclude with a call to action for sustainability researchers to co-develop a research agenda for advancing this relational paradigm within sustainability research, practice, and education.

KW - Complexity

KW - New materialism

KW - Posthumanism

KW - Process philosophy

KW - Relationality

KW - Systems theory

KW - Sustainability Science

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85081331428&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s13280-020-01322-y

DO - 10.1007/s13280-020-01322-y

M3 - Scientific review articles

C2 - 32112294

AN - SCOPUS:85081331428

VL - 50

SP - 74

EP - 84

JO - Ambio : a Journal of the human environment

JF - Ambio : a Journal of the human environment

SN - 0044-7447

IS - 1

ER -

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