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Children, Young People and Sustainability: Learning, Living and Action

Guest editors:
Pia Christensen, University of Warwick
Sophie Hadfield-Hill, The University of Northampton
John Horton, The University of Northampton
Peter Kraftl, University of Leicester

Children and young people appear to occupy an ambiguous status within contemporary discourses of sustainability and the politics of climate change adaptation. A growing literature illustrates how young people have considerable agency in fostering environmentally-sustainable behaviours in diverse contexts; however, major contemporary policy agendas in relation to environmental, economic, political or social sustainability only seldom make reference to children and young people. These policies lack clear vision with regard to the role that children and young people can play in contributing to the sustainability agenda.

The journal Local Environment focuses on local environmental justice and sustainability policy, politics and action; this Special Issue will primarily address young people within the nexus of sustainability and local environments to further theoretical understanding and to inform and contribute to future policy debates regarding children as agents of change. In particular we would like to invite contributions that discuss young people’s perceptions and engagement with their local environments, including their conceptual understanding of sustainability and related environmental issues. We also invite contributions that examine young people’s everyday lives, in terms of: how they mitigate their impact on the local environment; how they interact with sustainable features of their homes and communities; and, how they negotiate their “place” as a young person within the sustainability agenda.

We hope to include contributions from diverse socio-cultural contexts and perspectives, and invite papers (not exceeding 8000 words) relating to the following topics:

  • Family practices, issues of sustainability and environmental concern, and environmentally-friendly behaviours
  • Children and young people’s daily routines and sustainability
  • Case study examples of how to engage children, young people and families in environmental issues and sustainability
  • Sustainability and education
  • Environmental education within the home and community
  • “Sustainable communities” and young people
  • Children’s use and understanding of environmental technologies
  • Children and young people as agents of change
  • Children, young people and activisms relating to sustainability
  • Children, young people and policy discourses relating to sustainability
  • Children and young people as “problems” or “barriers” to change

Please send a brief abstract (100-200 words) to by Monday 8 August 2011 if you would like to be considered for inclusion in this special issue, or if you have any queries.

CFP – Special Issue of Local Environment: Children, Young People and Sustainability