Environment and Society titles
The 1970s and early 1980s constituted a period of intense academic and popular interest in processes of environmental degradation: global, regional and local. However, it soon became increasingly clear that reversing such degradation would not be a purely technical and managerial matter. All the technical knowledge in the world does not necessarily lead societies to change environmentally damaging behaviour. Hence a critical understanding of socio-economic, political and cultural processes and structures has become, it is acknowledged, of central importance in approaching environmental problems. Over the past two decades in particular there has been a mushrooming of research and scholarship on the relationships between social sciences and humanities on the one hand and processes of environmental change on the other. This has lately been reflected in a proliferation of associated courses at undergraduate level.
At the same time, changes in higher education in Europe, which match earlier changes in America, Australasia and elsewhere, mean that an increasing number of such courses are being taught and studied within a framework offering maximum flexibility in the typical under-graduate programme: ‘modular’ courses or their equivalent.
The volumes in this series will mirror these changes. They will provide short, topic-centred texts on environmentally relevant areas, mainly within social sciences and humanities. They will reflect the fact that students will approach their subject matter from a great variety of different disciplinary backgrounds; not just within social sciences and humanities, but from physical and natural sciences too. And those