© 2019

Co-Evolution of Nature and Society

Foundations for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies


  • Discusses the role of the social sciences in sustainability, biodiversity, and climate research

  • Argues that the science of coevolution is needed to develop a sustainable future

  • Explores interdisciplinary research on the interactions of nature and society


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Jens Jetzkowitz
    Pages 1-55
  3. Jens Jetzkowitz
    Pages 57-82
  4. Jens Jetzkowitz
    Pages 83-168
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 201-233

About this book


This book offers support for interdisciplinary research on the interactions of nature and society. It is based on the hypothesis that a science of coevolution is needed to explore paths to a sustainable future. Jens Jetzkowitz initially discusses why social science knowledge only rarely finds its way into sustainability discourse. One significant issue is a view of science that separates knowing and acting, and the book illustrates current problems in conceptualising interdisciplinary knowledge production. It then goes one step further and introduces a workable alternative concept, taking philosophical pragmatism as a point of departure. Sustainable development goals and transdisciplinarity are currently subject to widespread discussions and Jetzkowitz takes a stance on the debates from the perspective of coevolutionary science.

This book will appeal to scholars and students interested in environmental and sustainability discourses and to anyone willing to think outside the box.


sustainability science nature and society environmental sociology socio-ecological interactions biodiversity sustainability discourse science of co-evolution nature-mind dualism Kant interdisciplinary research transdisciplinarity interdisciplinary knowledge production

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Helmut Schmidt UniversityHamburgGermany

About the authors

Jens Jetzkowitz is a sociologist working and teaching at the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, Germany, with expertise in sustainability research, environmental sociology and, the sociology of culture and religion and methods of empirical social research. Currently he is collaborating with the Natural History Museum in Berlin, Germany. Central issues of his research concern how people give meaning to the social and biophysical world and how they draw consequences from of it. To answer these questions, he has studied a variety of research areas, e.g. biodiversity, agriculture, tourism, lifestyles, inequality and social change.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Co-Evolution of Nature and Society
  • Book Subtitle Foundations for Interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies
  • Authors Jens Jetzkowitz
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Palgrave Macmillan, part of Springer Nature 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-96651-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-07228-5
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-96652-6
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 233
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Environmental Sociology
    Environment Studies
    Human Geography
    Sustainable Development
  • Buy this book on publisher's site