Call for Papers for a Special Feature of Sustainability Science “Theoretical traditions in social values for sustainability”

To further explore themes associated with the diverse concepts of value, the Valuing Nature Programme is pleased to support this Call for Papers inviting abstracts on Theoretical traditions in social values for sustainability which will form a Special Feature of Sustainability Science edited by Chris Raymond, Jasper Kenter, Carena van Riper, Andrea Rawluk and Dave Kendal.

Upon acceptance of their abstracts, authors will be invited to a two-day global research workshop focused on: 

  1. Sharing and discussing draft papers for the special feature to enable integration and coherent use of terms;
  2. Preparation of a synthesis/future directions paper based on the knowledge gaps and insights of all special feature papers; and
  3. Network building activities.

This Call will bring together diverse social science, natural science and humanities disciplines such as economics, psychology, sociology, philosophy, geography, anthropology and conservation science to assemble and cross-fertilise theoretical starting points for understanding social values. 

Background - as detailed in the Full Call Announcement.

The aim of this special feature is to present and critically evaluate theories, concepts and methods for the assessment and application of social values in conservation and sustainability planning and management. It will be the first to present a holistic perspective of social values theory applicable to sustainability science problems. This includes how to integrate values collected at different scales into international biodiversity assessments, how to address multiple aspects of ‘relationality’ when valuing ecosystem services, and how to align epistemology, research paradigm and research methods when applying value concepts.

The Special Feature will start with a group of papers representing different points on the transcendental-contextual values continuum. Additional contributions are welcomed on the following themes:

  • Interpretive approaches to exploring social values, relations and sustainability (e.g., hermeneutic, discursive, dialogical and phenomenological approaches);
  • Theories that underpin research on the relationships between values, sense of place and sustainability;
  • Comparison of different meta-theories of social values and their applicability to sustainability planning and management;
  • Cross-cultural comparisons of social values for sustainability;
  • Assessment of value shifts relevant to sustainability planning and management;
  • Novel approaches for understanding the theoretical intersections between relational values and social values and their collective contribution to sustainability science scholarship;
  • Political and institutional dimensions of social values in relation to sustainability.

Submission Process - as detailed in the Full Call Announcement.

  • Authors are encouraged to submit extended abstracts (maximum 500 words) to the editors of the Special Feature by March 16, 2018 
  • Upon acceptance, authors will be invited to submit full-length manuscripts to the editorial team at
  • A workshop will be held to integrate between papers and ensure coherent use of terms.  
  • Authors will then be invited to submit full-length manuscripts through the journal’s electronic editorial management system, keeping in mind publisher formatting guidelines and length requirements. 
  • At this point, authors should state if they are submitting their work to be considered for the “Theoretical traditions in social values for sustainability” Special Feature 
  • Papers will go through a blind review process.


Author’s Guidelines:

Important Dates and Deadlines

  • March 16, 2018: submission of extended abstracts (maximum 500 words) to editorial team:
  • June 8, 2018: Submissions of full papers to the editorial team: 
  • June 26-27, 2018: Social values workshop in the UK to ensure coherent use of terms and to build the social values international network.  This workshop (including costs for travel arrangements) will be supported by the UK Valuing Nature Programme. It is expected that one author from each paper will attend this workshop. Further details to be advised upon abstract acceptance.
  • July 27, 2018: submission of revised papers through Sustainability Science editorial management system. For submission through the EM system, please register in EM system (link below) and submit your article selecting the SF title. You can see an author tutorial on right side of the registration page. Please tag your submission with the SF tag “Theoretical traditions in social values for sustainability”.
  • Autumn 2019: expected publication of the SF.

For any questions do not hesitate to contact Dr Jasper Kenter at   

Full Call Announcement