Call for Papers: Special Issue on Sustainable consumption in Asia in a disruptive era

In an era where climate change, pandemics and economic turmoil lead to perennial disruptions in all aspects of our lives, the objective of this special issue is to collect and disseminate high quality, impactful research shedding light on sustainable and unsustainable consumption practices, in particular the transformation from the latter to the former, both in Asia and beyond, and what kinds of policy steps are needed to speed up the transformation.

For example, changes in consumer and household behaviours are urgently needed to reach the Paris Agreement goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2100. The large variability in consumption patterns of private households show that they are promising for targeted interventions. Private households’ main contributors to CO2 emissions are personal transport, thermal energy use, electricity consumption, accommodation as well as consumption of food and consumer goods and services (Kalbar, Birkved, Kabins, & Nygaard, 2016). Private households can substantially reduce their CO2 emissions by adopting new or altering the use of in-home and transportation-related technologies or changing consumption patterns related to food and other consumer goods (Gardner & Stern, 2008).

This special issue focuses on understanding sustainable vs. unsustainable consumption (Thøgersen, 2014) and on opportunities and policy to induce pro-environmental behaviour changes in private households in an economic context characterised by high growth and/or disruption (Prothero et al., 2011; Reisch, Cohen, Thøgersen, & Tukker, 2016). The aim is to provide insights into fostering behaviour change and its implications for e.g., lifestyles, well-being or social norms. For this special issue, we invite papers based on a variety of theoretical and methodological angles and approaches on how to induce and maintain impactful pro-environmental behaviour change (Reisch & Thøgersen, 2015) including, but not limited to, the following broad themes:

Sufficiency and sustainable consumption Family decision-making and sustainable consumption The implications of global vs. local orientation for sustainable consumption The role of motivation, personal abilities, and/or the (physical, political, or cultural) context for pro-environmental behaviour changeThe importance of cognitive biases and heuristics in decision-making processes and how they can be utilized in changing behaviourThe plasticity and impact of behaviour changes, i.e., their potential to reduce carbon emissions or other important environmental problemsThe feasibility of initiatives to induce behaviour change, i.e., of initiatives actually being implemented in a public policy or a private governance context (Vandenbergh & Gilligan, 2017)The barriers the current legal system has established against a transformation and how the legal system would have to change in order to take sustainability seriously.

The addressed consumption contexts should make an important difference in terms of one or more important environmental problems, such as climate change.

We especially expect empirical contributions, but we also welcome well-positioned and well-crafted conceptual papers as well as relevant systematic literature reviews. Crucial are clear links to pro-environmental behaviour change and (consumer) policy implications. Deadline for submissions for the special issue is 31 January 2021, but each manuscript will be processed right away when received, in the same way as regular submissions to the journal.

For all technical and format matters, please refer to the Journal’s website. (

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This issue will be guest edited by dr. Krittinee Nuttavuthisit (Sasin School of Management, Thailand) together with the Editor, Professor John Thøgersen (Aarhus University, Denmark). You are welcome to contact us any time.


Gardner, G. T., & Stern, P. C. (2008). The short list. The most effective actions U.S. households can take to curb climate change. Environment, 50(5), 12-24.

Kalbar, P. P., Birkved, M., Kabins, S., & Nygaard, S. E. (2016). Personal Metabolism (PM) coupled with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) model: Danish case study. Environment International, 91, 168-179:

Prothero, A., Dobscha, S., Freund, J., Kilbourne, W. E., Luchs, M., Ozanne, L., & Thøgersen, J. (2011). Sustainable consumption: Opportunities for consumer research and public policy. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 30(1), 31-38.

Reisch, L. A., Cohen, M. J., Thøgersen, J., & Tukker, A. (2016). Frontiers in sustainable consumption research. GAIA, 25(4), 234-240.

Reisch, L. A., & Thøgersen, J. (Eds.). (2015). Handbook of research on sustainable consumption Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

Thøgersen, J. (2014). Unsustainable consumption: Basic causes and implications for policy. European Psychologist, 19, 84-95: 10.1027/1016-9040/a000176.

Vandenbergh, M. P., & Gilligan, J. M. (2017). Beyond Politics: The Private Governance Response to Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.