Companion to Environmental Studies presents a comprehensive and interdisciplinary overview of the key issues, debates, concepts, approaches and questions that together define environmental studies today. The intellectually wide-ranging volume covers approaches in environmental science all the way through to humanistic and post-natural perspectives on the biophysical world.

Though many academic disciplines have incorporated studying the environment as part of their curriculum, only in recent years has it become central to the social sciences and humanities rather than mainly the geosciences. ‘The environment’ is now a keyword in everything from fisheries science to international relations to philosophical ethics to cultural studies. The Companion brings these subject areas, and their distinctive perspectives and contributions, together in one accessible volume. Over 150 short chapters written by leading international experts provide concise, authoritative and easy-to-use summaries of all the major and emerging topics dominating the field, while the seven part introductions situate and provide context for section entries. A gateway to deeper understanding is provided via further reading and links to online resources.

Companion to Environmental Studies offers an essential one-stop reference to university students, academics, policy makers and others keenly interested in ‘the environmental question’, the answer to which will define the coming century.

chapter |4 pages


Environmental studies past, present and future

part 1|135 pages

Classic concepts

chapter 1.1|5 pages


chapter 1.2|4 pages


chapter 1.3|5 pages


chapter 1.4|5 pages


chapter 1.5|6 pages


chapter 1.6|6 pages


chapter 1.7|4 pages

Environmental catastrophe

chapter 1.8|6 pages

Ecological footprint

chapter 1.9|6 pages

The environmental Kuznets curve

chapter 1.10|5 pages


chapter 1.11|6 pages

The Jevons Paradox

chapter 1.12|6 pages


chapter 1.13|4 pages

One world

chapter 1.14|5 pages


chapter 1.15|5 pages


chapter 1.16|4 pages


chapter 1.17|5 pages


chapter 1.18|5 pages

The resource curse

chapter 1.19|6 pages

Scarcity and environmental limits

chapter 1.20|4 pages


chapter 1.21|5 pages

Sustainable development

chapter 1.22|5 pages

The tragedy of the commons

chapter 1.23|7 pages


chapter 1.24|9 pages


chapter 1.25|4 pages


part 2|122 pages

Contemporary concepts

chapter 2.1|8 pages

The Anthropocene

chapter 2.2|6 pages


chapter 2.3|5 pages


chapter 2.5|4 pages

The Earth System

chapter 2.6|6 pages

Ecosystem services

chapter 2.7|5 pages

Environmental governance

chapter 2.8|4 pages

Green democracy

chapter 2.9|4 pages

Environmental security

chapter 2.10|7 pages

Food systems

chapter 2.11|6 pages

Green economy

chapter 2.12|4 pages

Green governmentality

chapter 2.13|5 pages


chapter 2.14|5 pages

Land grabbing

chapter 2.15|4 pages

Metabolic rift

chapter 2.16|5 pages


chapter 2.17|4 pages

Peak oil

chapter 2.18|6 pages

Planetary boundaries

chapter 2.19|5 pages


chapter 2.20|6 pages

The social construction of nature

chapter 2.22|4 pages

Tipping points

chapter 2.23|5 pages

Wicked environmental problems

part 3|102 pages

Classic approaches

chapter 3.1|5 pages

Cultural theory

chapter 3.2|4 pages


chapter 3.3|6 pages

Environmental anthropology

chapter 3.4|5 pages

Environmental economics

chapter 3.5|5 pages


chapter 3.6|7 pages

Environmental ethics

chapter 3.7|4 pages

Environmental geography

chapter 3.8|4 pages

Environmental health

chapter 3.9|4 pages

Environmental history

chapter 3.10|5 pages

Environmental modelling

chapter 3.11|6 pages

Environmental sociology

chapter 3.12|4 pages

Environmental politics

chapter 3.13|4 pages

Design, emotion, sustainability

chapter 3.14|4 pages

Environmental law

chapter 3.15|4 pages

Environmental management

chapter 3.16|6 pages

Environmental philosophy

chapter 3.17|4 pages

Environmental planning

chapter 3.18|5 pages

Environmental psychology

chapter 3.19|4 pages

Natural hazards research

chapter 3.20|4 pages

Science and technology studies

chapter 3.21|5 pages

Social ecology

part 4|112 pages

Contemporary approaches

chapter 4.1|5 pages

Animal studies

chapter 4.4|5 pages


chapter 4.5|5 pages

Ecological Marxism

chapter 4.6|6 pages


chapter 4.7|10 pages

Earth System Science 1

chapter 4.8|5 pages

Energy studies

chapter 4.9|4 pages

Environmental discourse analysis

chapter 4.10|5 pages

Environmental humanities

chapter 4.11|7 pages

Environmental image analysis

chapter 4.12|5 pages

Environmental political economy

chapter 4.13|4 pages

Environmental political theory

chapter 4.14|4 pages

Political ecology

chapter 4.15|5 pages

Post-normal science

chapter 4.16|6 pages

Queer ecology

chapter 4.17|6 pages

Resilience science

chapter 4.18|5 pages

Sustainability science

chapter 4.19|6 pages

Vulnerability science

chapter 4.20|6 pages

Urban ecology

part 5|101 pages

Key topics: environmental challenges and changes

chapter 5.1|7 pages

Anthropogenic climate change

chapter 5.2|5 pages

Agro-food systems

chapter 5.3|4 pages


chapter 5.4|7 pages

Carbon budgets

chapter 5.5|5 pages


chapter 5.6|4 pages


chapter 5.7|6 pages

Forest resources

chapter 5.8|7 pages


chapter 5.9|11 pages


chapter 5.10|6 pages

Land degradation and restoration

chapter 5.11|7 pages

Mining and the environment

chapter 5.13|5 pages

The commons

chapter 5.14|6 pages

Transportation systems

chapter 5.15|8 pages


chapter 5.16|6 pages

Water resources

part 6|153 pages

Key topics: human responses to environmental change

chapter 6.2|5 pages

Ecological modernisation

chapter 6.3|4 pages


chapter 6.4|4 pages

Ecological restoration

chapter 6.5|5 pages


chapter 6.6|7 pages

Environmental art

chapter 6.7|5 pages

Environmental fiction

chapter 6.8|4 pages

Environmental celebrity

chapter 6.10|4 pages

Environmental insecurity

chapter 6.11|6 pages

Environmental (in)justice

chapter 6.12|5 pages

Environmental education

chapter 6.13|5 pages

Environmental markets

chapter 6.14|4 pages

Environmental metaphor

chapter 6.15|5 pages

Environmental migrants and refugees

chapter 6.16|6 pages

Environment and the news media

chapter 6.17|5 pages

Environment and popular culture

chapter 6.18|5 pages

Environmental policy

chapter 6.19|4 pages

Environmental values

chapter 6.21|5 pages


chapter 6.22|5 pages

Green consumption

chapter 6.23|5 pages


chapter 6.24|4 pages

Green technology

chapter 6.26|7 pages

Indigenous knowledge systems

chapter 6.28|5 pages

Privatizing environmental assets

chapter 6.29|6 pages

Sustainability transitions

chapter 6.30|7 pages

The Sustainable Development Goals

part 7|97 pages

Key debates

chapter 7.1|5 pages


chapter 7.2|4 pages

Biology and culture

chapter 7.3|4 pages

Environmental science and politics

chapter 7.4|6 pages

Environmental behaviour change

chapter 7.5|4 pages

Environmental citizenship

chapter 7.7|4 pages

Environment and economy

chapter 7.9|4 pages

Gender and environment

chapter 7.14|5 pages

Nature and nurture

chapter 7.17|5 pages

Race, nature and society

chapter 7.18|5 pages

Representation and reality

chapter 7.19|6 pages