Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
The aim of Empowering Sustainability International Journal (ESIJ) is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, opinions, and experiences about every aspect of sustainability among both practitioners and scholars, connecting theory to practice. Editors, advisors, and members of the Editorial Review Board are practitioner and academic experts in sustainability and ways to make it happen, and come from around the world: Brazil, India, Israel, the Netherlands, Russia, the United States, and the World Bank.
The editors seek articles displaying different ways of knowing and creativity, as well as collaborations, practice-based theorizing, and rethinking such concepts as empowerment, sustainability, development, democracy, and justice. This is spelled out on their Aim and Scope page, where they express specific interest in papers that:
1. Result from collaborations between practitioners and scholars
2. Transcend national and disciplinary boundaries
3. Challenge existing paradigms and/or attempt to redefine concepts
4. Portray success stories of sustainability and/or discuss lessons learned from implemented policies and practices
5. Present tools and models for enhancing sustainability
6. Discuss cases of resistance
7. Discuss current challenges to sustainability
8. Review or critique publications or events
Thus far only a single issue, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2013, of Empowering Sustainability International Journal is available, but the articles in it embody the editors’ stated aims for the publication. “Evaluation and Monitoring of a Long-Term Peace and Environmental Education Program in a Region of Intractable Conflict,” by two authors from Israel’s Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, analyzes a peace and environmental education program running in ten Israeli high schools. “From the Ground Up: Lessons on Incorporating Behavior Change Research in Sustainability Programs,” by an author from Community Sustainability USA, Inc., describes the design, implementation, and preliminary results of a sustainability behavior change program implemented through a collaboration of a nonprofit organization and a municipality in Southern California. The program focused on “simple low- or no-cost behavior changes and results indicate some significant reductions in GHG emissions.” “Examining the Role of Boundary Organizations and Environmental Champions in Increasing Natural Hazard Preparedness in Bangkok, Thailand” by a UC Irvine-based author, “examines the role of boundary organizations and environmental champions in boundary-spanning activities aimed at increasing environmental cooperation and preparedness in Bangkok,” with data having been collected using semi-structured interviews and archival analysis.
If subsequent issues continue to be as well-researched, well-written, and freely presented as this first, Empowering Sustainability International Journal will become a core publication in environmental studies. It has made a very promising beginning and when more content is available, should be brought to the attention of researchers and practitioners in all areas of sustainability work and scholarship.