Call for papers: Special Issue “Global Resource Industries and Environmental Conflicts: Disciplinary Approaches, Methods, Literatures and Comparative Insights”

Special Issue “Global Resource Industries and Environmental Conflicts: Disciplinary Approaches, Methods, Literatures and Comparative Insights”

 (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section “Human Geography and Social Sustainability“. An online version of this call can be found here

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor Dr. Michael L. Dougherty
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4660, USA 
Website | E-Mail 
Interests: environmental sociology; rural development; extractive industries; environmental conflicts; global commodity industries; agrarian change

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Human Geography and Social Sustainability section of the international scholarly journal Sustainability invites contributions for a Special Issue entitled: “Global Resource Industries and Environmental Conflicts: Disciplinary Approaches, Methods, Literature, and Comparative Insights”.

Over the past twenty years, investment in primary resource production has grown dramatically across the globe. This has been the case with the production of precious and semi-precious metals as well as industrial metals. We have also seen booms in rare earth mineral production and novel forms of energy development. Few regions of the world have been spared the experience of this global scramble for resources. Scholarship of resource conflicts has followed suit, and we know quite a bit now about the factors that drive these conflicts and the character of collective movements to challenge these industries; however, there are three challenges to this body of scholarship that this Special Issue aims to take up.

First, the extant literature has been somewhat contained within disciplinary boundaries with little cross-talk among disciplines. This Special Issue is particularly interested in manuscripts that bring disciplinary/conceptual/methodological and literature-specific themes to the fore to begin to think through how scholars might harness the strengths of the variegated approaches to these issues. Topics within this rubric might include:

  • Case studies/reflections on methodological approaches to studying resources industries and conflicts;
  • Reviews of the literature within certain disciplinary or cross-disciplinary parameters;
  • Conceptual and theoretical approaches to thinking through resource industries and conflicts.

Second, the extant literature has also made relatively few efforts to conceptualize specific resource conflicts within global webs of geopolitical contests in the context of climate change, resurgent nationalist populism, mass migrations, and late fossil capitalism. To this end, this Special Issue seeks papers that aim to link site-specific cases (be these mines, conflicts, or countries) within such global webs. These papers could take the form of:

  • Commodity chain/production network analyses of particular primary commodities;
  • Global geopolitical strategy and competition in land grabs and resource production;
  • Global flows of finance/financialization of the ground/underground;
  • Competition, embedded fossil energy, and the future of energy production;
  • Linking energy and mineral production with expulsions and migrant flows.

Finally, the extant literature would benefit from more comparative work. Intraregional and cross-regional comparative analyses highlight points of convergence and divergence in ways that make compelling stories with salient conclusions. This Special Issue is keen to include comparative analyses including but not limited to any of the following:

  • Comparing state engagement with extractive industry across countries;
  • Comparing collective movements to challenge resource industries;
  • Comparing industry social and environmental engagement across commodities;
  • Comparing development impacts of extraction in various countries or world regions.

Dr. Michael L. Dougherty
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • China
  • Energy
  • Rare earths
  • Fracking
  • Renewable energy
  • Gold
  • Extractive industries
  • Environmental conflicts
  • Global commodity chains
  • Political ecology
  • Extractivism

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