CfP - Environmental Communication

Call for proposals for chapters

When the Local meets the Digital: Implications and Consequences for Environmental Communication

Volume editors: Joana Diaz Pont, Pieter Maeseele, Annika Egan Sjölander, Maitreyee Mishra, Kerrie Foxwell-Norton

Publisher: IAMCR/Palgrave Series


Recent changes in territorial and digital capabilities of communication pose new challenges for environmental communication, with particular impacts and consequences at the local level. On one hand, a redefinition of environmental problems is called for from the well-known maxim "think globally and act locally" to the new "think locally and act locally". On the other, social media and the emergence of collaborative platforms having an impact on the local level are exposing multifaceted realities. For example, the discourses on the multiple benefits of SmartCities, or platforms such as AirBnB, Uber or Amazon, contrast with their physical and social consequences on the ground. In the intertwining of the local and the digital, new injustices arise. Shared are social and environmental impacts that trigger the emergence of social movements and local platforms to fight the effects of decisions taken at distant territorial levels and in digital spaces disconnected from the local. These distant decisions often support profits and extractivist interests that are the target of local protest.

The intersections of place and digital media raise new questions for environmental communication scholars. For instance, about how place and the digital effect local decisions and social relations. Individual attitudes and behaviors of citizens find their most direct expression at the local level, where ideologies are embodied in certain models of environmental behavior. The local becomes the digital, physical and ideological space for different modes of behavior, encompassing a continuum where participation and commitment to environmental issues can acquire a collective voice in the form of advocacy groups or social movements. Alternatively, digital spaces can result in the fragmentation, reformulation and creation of politics and political parties.

This edited book will explore the interplay of the local and the digital in environmental communication (research). Some questions that can guide contributions:

  • How is environmental communication impacted by the intertwining of the local and the digital?
  • How are digital media influencing environmental communication at the local level?
  • What is/could be the role of environmental communication in the emergence of local environmental activism, networking, and political and social participation?
  • What is/could be the role of journalism and news media - mainstream and/or alternative - in navigating the local and digital?
  • What are the local experiences of digital collaborative platforms (eg. AirBnB, Uber or Amazon) that in so many instances have become extractive platforms?
  • How, if at all, are environmental or social movements created or redefined in response to these new injustices originating in distant digital spaces?
  • How does the prevailing political economic system impact on the local experience of ‘Green Growth’ initiatives, such as SmartCities?
  • Other questions are of course also welcome

The editors welcome papers from various theoretical, conceptual, and empirical approaches. Empirical studies should be based on quantitative and/or qualitative methods, including case studies and best practices.  Literature reviews are also welcome. Contributions must be in English. Submissions should have the form of extended abstracts, consisting of an outline of the chapter of about 1200 to 1500 words. Abstracts are due 15 February 2018 to

This edited volume is a joint initiative of the Environment, Science and Risk Communication Working Group of IAMCR and the Science and Environment Communication Section of ECREA. The authors of the accepted abstracts will be invited to present their proposal during a webinar taking place 15 March 2018 14-16h CET (UTC+1). Authors will be notified of the acceptance by 26 February 2018 and the submission of draft chapters will be expected by 16 May 2018.