Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy

SDEP research contributes to socially and politically sound solutions to society's mounting environmental dilemmas through collaborative research on the human dimensions of environmental change and policy among social and natural scientists, and consultation with local, national and global policy makers. The initiative's aim is to apply rigorous social science research to the making and implementation of just and sustainable environmental policy.

Traditional environmental policy initiatives are centered around natural science research on the physical origins and implications of environmental problems and efforts to relate the resulting knowledge to policy formulation. However, many societal problems stemming from local and global environmental change and from the policies being developed to mitigate and adapt to change are beyond the scope of technical fixes, and ordinary legal or economic analyses.

Rule Book: Painting of a man leading others

SDEP conducts social science research on 1) the causes of environmental change; 2) the causes of social problems related to the environment; and 3) the making, implementation and effects of policy solutions on society and the environment. The initiative's first phase research focuses on two themes: climate-society interactions and environment-democracy linkages. As this new initiative gathers momentum, it will broaden its scope to include research on human rights, justice and democracy in relation to water policy, energy policy, biofuels production, urbanization, forest carbon offsets, biodiversity conservation, extractive industries, and international trade policies.

If you are interested in becoming a SDEP Affiliate or if you want to join the SDEP mailing list, email Jesse Ribot.