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Towards a Natural Social Contract

Transformative Social-Ecological Innovation for a Sustainable, Healthy and Just Society

Authors: Huntjens, Patrick

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  • Is open access
  • Proposes a fundamental change in the way humans interact with their social and natural environment
  • Advocates a shift from a growth-oriented society to a more ecocentric and regenerative society
  • Develops a transformative social-ecological innovation framework for sustainable solutions to endemic issues
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-67130-3
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-67129-7
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About this book

This open access book states that the societal fault lines of our times are deeply intertwined and that they confront us with challenges affecting the security, fairness and sustainability of our societies. The author, Prof. Dr. Patrick Huntjens, argues that overcoming these existential challenges will require a fundamental shift from our current anthropocentric and economic growth-oriented approach to a more ecocentric and regenerative approach. He advocates for a Natural Social Contract that emphasizes long-term sustainability and the general welfare of both humankind and planet Earth. Achieving this crucial balance calls for an end to unlimited economic growth, overconsumption and over-individualisation for the benefit of ourselves, our planet, and future generations. To this end, sustainability, health, and justice in all social-ecological systems will require systemic innovation and prioritizing a collective effort. The Transformative Social-Ecological Innovation (TSEI) framework presented in this book serves that cause. It helps to diagnose and advance innovation and spur change across sectors, disciplines, and at different levels of governance. Altogether, TSEI identifies intervention points and formulates jointly developed and shared solutions to inform policymakers, administrators, concerned citizens, and professionals dedicated towards a more sustainable, healthy and just society. 

A wide readership of students, researchers, practitioners and policy makers interested in social innovation, transition studies, development studies, social policy, social justice, climate change, environmental studies, political science and economics will find this cutting-edge book particularly useful.

“As a sustainability transition researcher, I am truly excited about this book. Two unique aspects of the book are that it considers bigger transformation issues (such as societies’ relationship with nature, purpose and justice) than those studied in transition studies and offers analytical frameworks and methods for taking up the challenge of achieving change on the ground.”

-         Prof. Dr. René Kemp, United Nations University and Maastricht Sustainability Institute


About the authors

Dr. Patrick Huntjens is Professor of 'Social Innovation and Governance for Sustainability' at the Research and Innovation Centre Agri, Food and Life Sciences (RIC-AFL), Inholland University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands. In addition, he is Professor of ‘Governance of Sustainability Transitions’ at Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI), The School of Business and Economics (SBE), Maastricht University.

From 2017-2019 he was Director of The Hague Humanitarian Cooperative for Water (HHCW), from 2013-2017 Head of Water Diplomacy and Climate Governance at The Hague Institute for Global Justice, and from 2011-2013, he was Director of the Water Partner Foundation. At Wageningen University and Research (WUR) he was coordinator of the Centre of Excellence - Governance of Climate Adaptation from 2010-2012, after working as Coordinator of EU-Asia relations on Water Governance in the EU-funded multi-stakeholder platform ASEM-Waternet (2006-2010). In the period 2000-2006 he worked as a policy officer for the Netherlands Government and as an international consultant for Royal HaskoningDHV. 

With 23 years of professional experience, and working in more than 40 countries, his work focuses on environmental governance and diplomacy, societal innovation and sustainability transitions at multiple levels (global to local). He is spearheading a Research and Innovation Agenda with a core focus on the governance of sustainability transitions, with specific attention for issues of politics and power in transitions, and drawing on the wider field of governance, innovation and transition studies as well as other fields like complexity theory and systems theory. Ongoing research and educational activities include 1) transition to a sustainable and healthy agri-food system, 2) governance of urban sustainability transitions, and 3) transition to circular and regenerative economies and cultures. 

Patrick has a multi-disciplinary background, including a Ph.D. (Magna Cum Laude) in Complex System Sciences and Policy Sciences, an MSc Degree (Cum Laude) in Political Science & International Relations and an MSc Degree in Ecology and Environmental Management. His PhD-dissertation was endorsed by Prof. Dr. Elinor Ostrom, the first woman in history receiving the Nobel Prize in Economics.

He solidifies his expertise with activities on the ground, mainly as international team leader, consultant, action researcher, process manager and mediator. For example, from 2014 to 2015 he was lead mediator (Track II) in the Israeli-Palestinian water conflict, assigned by the Geneva Initiative and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other clients include the World Bank, United Nations, European Commission, various governments and NGOs.


Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 3-8

    Huntjens, Patrick

  • Sustainability Transition: Quest for a New Social Contract

    Pages 9-26

    Huntjens, Patrick

  • Towards a Natural Social Contract

    Pages 27-79

    Huntjens, Patrick

  • Conceptual Background of Transformative Social-Ecological Innovation

    Pages 83-120

    Huntjens, Patrick

  • Analytical Instruments for Studying TSEI

    Pages 125-138

    Huntjens, Patrick

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-030-67130-3
  • This book is an open access book, you can download it for free on link.springer.com
Hardcover $37.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-67129-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Towards a Natural Social Contract
Book Subtitle
Transformative Social-Ecological Innovation for a Sustainable, Healthy and Just Society
Authors
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-67130-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-67130-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-67129-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 205
Number of Illustrations
4 b/w illustrations, 18 illustrations in colour
Topics