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Message posted on 18/11/2020

CfP: Sustainability Perspectives on Health Care: Exploring the Contours of a Novel Field

Dear colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to a call for papers for a special issue in sustainability entitled "Sustainability perspectives on health care: exploring the contours of a novel field". While the call, as displayed below, is broad, STS-perspectives will be particularly appreciated to engage with the theme of the issue.

This special issue aims to explore and propose "health and sustainability" as a novel research field. When the field of "health and sustainability" is straightforwardly approached as the overlap between research on "health" and on "sustainability", a wide array of intertwined or coupled health-sustainability challenges emerges. However, research on these topics often remains limited to understanding and remedying problems in either the (social and environmental) sustainability domain or the health domain. "Health" and "sustainability" are rarely mentioned and studied in conjunction in academic research, although it has been frequently observed that today's sustainability challenges have profound and highly unequal health implications, on the one hand, and that health-care systems produce effects that can be considered unsustainable in multiple ways, on the other hand.

Building on this observation, this Special Issue explores "health and sustainability" by investigating (and transforming) health and health systems from a sustainability perspective. Doing so requires thinking about what sustainable healthcare might look like and how this may come to be defined. It also requires investigating both ongoing practices within systems as well as the introduction of new healthcare interventions beyond the narrow focus of the ongoing practice or intervention itself: How (socially, ecologically and economically) viable is it on the long-term, for the target population and other stakeholders, for the healthcare system as a whole, and for systems that are intertwined with the healthcare system? And how can such viability be defined in an inclusive manner? Indeed, taking this a step further, a sustainability approach to healthcare has the potential to bring to the fore that transforming today's healthcare system(s) toward more sustainable systems inevitably requires transformations of interrelated systems as well, such as food and knowledge systems or living environments more broadly.

The summary above presents a glimpse of the many issues and topics that sustainability perspectives on healthcare may give rise to, with a threefold focus on (a) the sustainability of the health system itself; (b) coupled transformations of the food system and other systems (food, knowledge, etc.); and (c) coupled living environments-health systems transformations. The special issue therefore explores and draws together a variety of different engagements with health and sustainability as a research topic and field to chart new terrain to inspire future scholarly investigations of health and sustainability from a wide variety of (inter-/trans-)disciplinary perspectives. To do so, we invite papers that contribute to this ambitions on the basis of empirical investigations and/or theoretical innovations and/or in-depth literature reviews.

You can find more information here: lth_Care If you are interested to submit a paper, please send an email to Evelien de Hoop ( before Dec 15th 2020. Abstracts are due on Jan 5th 2021, and the deadline for full manuscript submission is May 15, 2021.

Best wishes,

Evelien de Hoop, Tjerk Jan Schuitmaker-Warnaar & Jacqueline Broerse Athena Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

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