Economy and livelihoods after Covid-19

The Pan­demic, Sustainability, and the Global South

Call for Pa­pers: One Earth

The world looks very different from how it was a year ago. Even more so from the perspective of the Global South. Much has been said about the corrosive effects of COVID-19 on the economies and political economies of the Global South, although we know much less about the implications for sustainability in these nations, anecdotal evidence suggests that the pandemic has delayed and perhaps even reversed progress on sustainability. Particular concern has arisen regarding the broadening of inequality gaps within and between countries and questions have been revisited asking just how just is our current approach to sustainable development.  

Traditionally, sustainability is seen three dimensionally: environment, economy, and society, but just sustainability[1] must be seen as interconnected and global. Current concepts of sustainability increasingly emphasise the need for change, usually stressing sustainability transitions, sustainability transformations, and systemic changes. However, it remains unclear what the ramifications of  these multiple changes would be for countries in the Global South , perhaps signalling a need to alter our theories, theorising and methods of study.

We are at a crucial juncture in our efforts to realise a sustainable and just world within one interconnected earth. There is a unique opportunity to build back better following the pandemic, but we must do so in inclusive ways. In spite of much talk about ‘collaboration’, scientific relationships in sustainability science research are too uneven and unequal. Without decolonising sustainability, the Global South and its peoples, often those making the least contribution to the socio-ecological crises of today and yet those hardest hit by the effects of environmental degradation, will be left behind.

With the goal of limiting (and indeed reducing) inequalities in mind, we launch this call for papers for consideration for publication in a focus issue of One Earth. We seek research papers on a wide range of topics. We encourage diversity, pluralism, and citizenship, whether in disciplines, fields, paradigms or any other identity. Our theme, however, is a compass and includes the following:

  • Re-envisioning sustainability and Sustainability Sciences in the Global South from the perspective of the Global South;
  • The Pandemic, and its Ramifications for Sustainability; and  
  • Sustainability transformations for the Future.

We invite interested authors to submit an advanced abstract that indicates how their papers align with these objectives and significantly advance our understanding. The editors and co-ordinators of the focus issue strongly encourage scientists based in, or coming from, the Global South to submit, where needed, collaborations which reverse historical uneven relations between geographies, races, (dis)abilities, and genders are preferable.  All submissions will need to meet the criteria for One Earth and offer a significant advance in understanding over the existing literature


  • Abstract*  Submission: December 15, 2020
  • First Decision: February 1,  2021
  • Full Paper submission: before May 31 2020
  • Review process: June -July 2021
  • Revisions: August – September 2021
  • Final submissions: October 1st 2021
  • Publication Date: 2021

Submission of abstracts for pre-approval by the focus issue coordinators should be submitted via eform (link by 15th December 2020:

* 150 words, including the following

  • Context (background and debates)
  • Research questions
  • Originality of possible answers
  • Methods
  • Data
  • Theory/ies
  • Possible arguments/findings

All possible questions and other matters, authors need to contact the focus issue co-ordinators Franklin Obeng-Odoom ( and Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki (, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki, Finland.


[1] Agyeman J, 2013, Introducing Just Sustainabilities: Policy, Planning, and Practice, Zed Books, London.

Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Global Development Studies

Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science

University of Helsinki, Finland


Announcement : Kofi A.Annan Eminent Speakers’ Lecture Series : 2020 Edition.

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