Call for abstracts, special issue of Environment & Society on ‘Mega-Projects’

*** Posted on behalf of Paige West ***


Small is no longer beautiful. Small is out-dated, old-fashioned, inefficient and ugly. The future now consists of an ambitious series of massive plans and schemes for new infrastructure projects, beltways, roadways, railways, investment corridors, disaster-proofed cities and countries, carbon capture and storage, reforestation, wall building, migration fostering, terra-formation, space exploration, global sports events and so much more. The proponents of mega-projects resurrect modernist dreams of yesteryear, yet they offer utopian visions of an uncharted future.  Although many of these mega-projects are still being planned or are in nascent stages, it is clear they have the potential to transform everyday life for many people and as a result they are likely to provoke resistance.

In this issue of Environment & Society we invite any papers which explore different aspects of mega-projects. This could include their environmental or social consequences, politics surrounding their planning and/or realization, and the visions and/or assumptions that animate them. It could entail exploring the organized collective opposition to these schemes, such as protest events, campaigns and social movements, or subtle acts of refusal. It could also examine the futures that mega-projects promise, their consequences and the alternative futures they foreclose. It could focus on highly visible lumpy schemes (border walls, HS2, the Green Climate Fund) that are territorialized and driven by governments. Alternatively it could examine massive and far-reaching systemic changes in technology or social trends that reshape how large groups of people think or behave but which arise from consumer choice, political action and private entrepreneurship as well as state guidance (the internet of things and social media, electric cars, and artificial intelligence).

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

–       Biomass Energy Carbon Capture and Storage schemes

–       The One Road One Belt Initiative

–       The Agricultural Growth Corridors of East Africa

–       HS2 and similar schemes

–       Smart cities

–       Reconstruction after disasters

–       Preparation for natural disasters

–       Climate Agreements

–       Climate Change Financing

–       Sporting events like the Soccer World Cup or Olympics

–       Internet of things

–       Rewilding visions

–       Large Mining or Dam Building plans

–       The smartphone revolution

–       Geographical Positioning Systems

–       Search Engines

–       Diverse military projects

–       Security Barriers

–       Transformations in Urban Planning

Environment & Society is a review journal that appears once per year. Its papers are meant to review substantial bodies of literature that have appeared in previous years. We expect therefore contributions to this issue to contain substantial literature reviews. We also find, however, that the best authors and papers tend to include some original material in their work. Papers which do so, while remaining overwhelmingly review papers, are welcome.

This issue will be guest edited by Simin Fadaee and Seth Schindler.


  • Abstracts in response to this call are due by December 16th 2017.
  • We will decide which abstracts to accept and invite papers by December 23rd 2017.
  • Completed papers are due by 31stJuly 2018.
  • Papers are then reviewed and either rejected or revisions invited for a final submission date of 1st May 2019

Please send abstracts to

Please send all enquiries to

Guest editors:

Seth Schindler:

Simin Fadaee:


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