Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Aim and Scope

The Empowering Sustainability International Journal (ESIJ) welcomes several types of paper. In particular, we are interested in papers that:

1. Result from collaborations between practitioners and scholars:

This type of paper should focus on theory building from practice and/or application of theoretical concepts and scholarly research to practice. It should clearly demonstrate the connections between theory and practice.

2. Transcend national and disciplinary boundaries:

This type of paper should emphasize the value of transnational and transdisciplinary research in addressing sustainability. The paper may provide comparison among countries, analyze issues from various disciplinary perspectives, and/or address the applicability of concepts, policies, and practices in different contexts.

3. Challenge existing paradigms and/or attempt to redefine concepts:

This type of paper should discuss the adequacy of current paradigms and concepts (e.g. sustainability, empowerment, justice, and so on). It may also suggest new ways of thinking about paradigms and concepts that may enhance our ability to develop and implement sustainable practices. This paper does not need to rely on empirical data, but, it might be strengthened with examples of the effects of concepts and paradigms when translated into everyday practice.

4. Portray success stories of sustainability and/or discuss lessons learned from implemented policies and practices:

This type of paper aims at informing future sustainability efforts. Thus, it must provide detailed description, rather than abstract or generalized discussion, of the case being presented. Maps, numbers, demographic information, cost, and context must be provided whenever possible. Also, a discussion about why practices or policies succeeded or failed should help readers assess the applicability of these results in other contexts.

5. Present tools and models for enhancing sustainability:

This type of paper should provide detailed description of how to develop and/or implement one or more sustainable practices. The tools and models being discussed should result from already implemented practices that have shown promising results. Detailed information should be provided in order to inform future sustainability efforts.

6. Discuss cases of resistance:

This type of paper aims at describing and analyzing cases of mobilization against or in support of proposed practices and policies. Description of the context, main actors, process, and outcomes must be provided. A discussion of the challenges faced by the mobilization as well as its successes and failures will help readers understand how the case compares with others in different contexts.

7. Discuss current challenges to sustainability:

This type of paper addresses current challenges to the development and/or implementation of sustainable policies and practices. It might focus on systemic/structural conditions at the global or regional scale or on local/community contexts. The paper should also include a discussion on how these challenges could be overcome and/or what kinds of changes would be necessary.

8. Review or critique publications or events:

This type of paper should provide a critical analysis of publications (e.g. reports, books) and events (e.g. workshops, summits, conferences) that address sustainability issues. Besides a detailed description of the publication or event the author should discuss how this publication or event advance or hinder sustainability efforts.