Launch of Environmental Sociology

Volume 1, Issue 1 of Environmental Sociology has recently been published and is available, for a short time, open access.

Prof Stewart Lockie, Foundation Editor, explains the rationale behind the journal.


Interest among environmental sociologists in the establishment of a flagship journal has been around for a long time but people have also been cautious about the timing. The availability of a specialist journal could, after all, discourage environmental sociologists from publishing their research in mainstream sociology journals or in multidisciplinary environmental and resource management journals. Establishing a flagship journal too early could leave us speaking mostly amongst ourselves. 

A few years ago, members of the International Sociological Association’s (ISA) Research Committee for Environment and Society (RC24) decided that the time for Environmental Sociology had come. As a sociological sub-discipline, environmental sociology had matured and was among the largest and most vibrant. Global environmental change was raising the profile of ‘environmental sub-disciplines’ in general and forcing science and environmental agencies to take the contributions of the social sciences more seriously. The growth of universities and research institutes outside the Global North was bringing new participants to our meetings. The opportunity was upon us, we believed, not just to establish Environmental Sociology as a viable journal but, in doing so, to increase the visibility and impact of environmental sociology internationally as a field of research and scholarship.

There is something unique about the sociological imagination which makes this project, I believe, critically important. At the same time, there are numerous ways in which the sociological imagination can be applied, theoretically and methodologically, and our editorial policy is to be open to all of them. Environmental Sociology aims to stretch conceptual boundaries as much as to contribute to better environmental policy and management, to disseminate research and encourage cross-disciplinary dialogues.

 The success of this project will, of course, depend on how well we develop a community of contributors and readers. I encourage you to do participate in this community by:

  • Considering Environmental Sociology as an outlet for your very best work.
  • Requesting your institutional library take out a subscription.
  • Encouraging your students and colleagues both to follow the journal and to read specific articles you have found interesting.
  • Responding to requests to review papers (even if to say you’re not available!).


The AFRN congratulates Prof Stewart Lockie, the editorial board, and all contributing authors on the inaugural publication of Environmental Sociology.

For more information on the journal and submission guidelines, please visit their website.

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