Nature and Culture

Sing C. Chew, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Matthias Gross, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and
University of Jena
Daniel Sarabia, Roanoke College, USA

Subjects: Environmental Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Archaeology

Latest Issue Table of Contents

Volume 19 (2024): Issue 1 (Mar 2024)

Nature + Culture
Volume 19, Issue 2
Table of Contents


Addressing the Irrational Drivers of the Climate Crisis: Surplus Repression and Destructive Production
Diana Stuart, Brian Petersen, and Ryan Gunderson

Transforming Home: The Religious Heritage of Indigenous Society Heritage in the Age of Environmental Problems
Maryam Pirdehghan

Algae Openings: How the Bloom Boom in the United States and Mexico makes Environmental Protection Actionable
Laura Otto and Carly Rospert

Wells and Women: The Gendered and Infrastructural Geographies of Water Conservation
Brock Ternes and Hannah Lohr

Following a Deep-Sea Channel: Sensory Landscape and Experiential Knowledge in Science-Making on a Research Vessel
Ramona Haegele

Volume 19 / 2024, 3 issues per volume (spring, summer, winter)

Nature and Culture is now indexed in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences (CC/S&BS);  the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), and SCOPUS (Elsevier).

Aims & Scope

Nature and Culture (NC) is a forum for the international community of scholars and practitioners to present, discuss, and evaluate critical issues and themes related to the historical and contemporary relationships that societies, civilizations, empires, regions, and nation-states have with nature. The journal contains a serious interpolation of theory, methodology, criticism, and concrete observation forming the basis of this discussion.

The journal's mission is to move beyond specialized disciplinary enclaves and mindsets toward broader syntheses that encompass time, space, and structures in understanding the nature–culture relationship. The journal furthermore provides an outlet for the identification of knowledge gaps in our understanding of this relationship.

Nature and Culture receives financial support for its editorial operations from the Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig, and the Department of Sociology and Public Health Studies, Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia, USA.

The editors and editorial board will consider new topics, and authors should not be restricted by those listed below. Current themes are as follows:

  • Cultural Reactions and Conceptions of Nature
  • Degradation and Restoration of Ecosystems
  • Changing Ecologies and Contradictions
  • Ecological Futures

For a more detailed explanation of these topics, please see Nature and Culture's themes.


Nature and Culture is indexed/abstracted in:

  • Anthropological Index Online (RAI)
  • Anthropological Literature (Tozzer Library – Harvard University)
  • Bibliometric Research Indicator List (BFI)
  • British Humanities Index (PROQUEST)
  • Current Abstracts (EBSCO)
  • Current Contents - Social and Behavioral Sciences (WEB OF SCIENCE)
  • Energy & Power Source (EBSCO)
  • Environment Abstracts (PROQUEST)
  • Environmental Sciences & Pollution Management (PROQUEST)
  • European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (ERIH PLUS)
  • Geobase (ELSEVIER)
  • International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBSS)
  • IBR – International Bibliography of Book Reviews of Scholarly Literature on the Humanities and Social Sciences (DE GRUYTER)
  • IBZ – International Bibliography of Periodical Literature (DE GRUYTER)
  • Norwegian Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers
  • PAIS International (PROQUEST)
  • Scopus (Elsevier)
  • Social Sciences Citation Index (WEB OF SCIENCE)
  • Sociological Abstracts (PROQUEST)
  • Water Resources Abstracts (PROQUEST)
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (PROQUEST)

Sing C. Chew, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany
Matthias Gross, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ and University of Jena, Germany
Daniel Sarabia, Roanoke College, USA

Managing Editor
Andrea Irmscher, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Germany

Book Review Editor
Amanda Bertana, Southern Connecticut State University, USA

Editorial Board
Maohong Bao, Peking University, P. R. China
Felix A. Chami, University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Jason Chilvers, University of East Anglia, UK
Samir Dasgupta, University of Kalyani, India

Debra J. Davidson, University of Alberta, Canada
Dana Fisher, University of Maryland, USA
Paul H. Gobster, USDA Forest Service, USA
Thomas Hall, DePauw University, USA
David J. Hess, Vanderbilt University, USA
Andrew K. Jorgenson, University of British Columbia, Canada
Kristian Kristiansen, Goteborgs Universitet, Sweden
Gabriella Kutting, Rutgers University, USA
Ts'ui-Jung Liu, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC
Robert Marks, Whittier College, USA
Arthur P. J. Mol, Wageningen University, Netherlands
Ruth Mostern, University of Pittsburgh, USA
Roger Pielke Jr., University of Colorado, USA
William I. Robinson, University of California-Santa Barbara, USA
William Thompson, Indiana University, USA

Richard York, University of Oregon, USA


Manuscript Submission

Please review the submission and style guidelines carefully before submitting.

The editors welcome contributions. Authors should submit articles as Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) files. Electronic submissions are preferred, but mailed contributions will be reviewed. Please note that all correspondence will be transmitted via e-mail.

E-mail submissions to the managing editor at

Further correspondence may be directed to the editors:
Sing C. Chew ( and Matthias Gross (

Mailed submissions should include a PC formatted disk with three hard copies of the article. Send to:

The Managing Editor
Nature and Culture
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research -UFZ
Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology
Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

Research articles should be 5,000 to 8,000 words, although longer articles may be considered. Contributions for the Perspectives section should be 2,000 to 5,000 words. Reviews essays must have a minimum of two titles reviewed and be 2,000 to 4,000 words. The Journal does not accept unsolicited book review essays.

Have other questions? Please refer to the Berghahn Info for Authors page for general information and guidelines including topics such as article usage and permissions for Berghahn journal article authors.

Ethics Statement

Authors published in Nature and Culture (NC) certify that their works are original and their own. The editors certify that all materials, with the possible exception of editorial introductions, book reviews, and some types of commentary, have been subjected to double-blind peer review by qualified scholars in the field. While the publishers and the editorial board make every effort to see that no inaccurate or misleading data, opinions or statements appear in this journal, they wish to make it clear that the data and opinions appearing in the articles herein are the sole responsibility of the contributor concerned. For a more detailed explanation concerning these qualifications and responsibilities, please see the complete Nature and Culture ethics statement.

Annual Subscriptions

Volume 19/2024, 3 issues p.a. (spring, summer, winter)
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Indexed in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences (CC/S&BS); the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), and SCOPUS (Elsevier).

An important issue in contemporary social theory is how social thought can systematically take materiality into account. This article suggests that one way social theory can do so is by working with an ontology that treats materiality as part of society. The article presents one such ontology, according to which social phenomena consist in nexuses of human practices and material arrangements. This ontology (1) recognizes three ways materiality is part of social phenomena, (2) holds that most social phenomena are intercalated constellations of practices, technology, and materiality, and (3) opens up consideration of relations between practices and material arrangements. A brief practice-material history of the Kentucky Bluegrass region where the author resides illustrates the idea that social phenomena evince changing material configurations over time.

In this paper we review and analyze the recent research literature on urban green space and human health and well-being, with an emphasis on studies that attempt to measure biodiversity and other green space concepts relevant to urban ecological restoration. We first conduct a broad scale assessment of the literature to identify typologies of urban green space and human health and well-being measures, and use a research mapping exercise to detect research priorities and gaps. We then provide a more in-depth assessment of selected studies that use diverse and innovative approaches to measuring the more ecological aspects of urban green space and we evaluate the utility of these approaches in developing urban restoration principles and practices that are responsive to both human and ecological values.


In the past two centuries, urban growth has increased at a rapid pace, mainly driven by the demographic impact of industrialization. Besides urban growth, as this article argues, effects of industrialization have likewise intensified urban shrinkage. Cities of the industrial age have experienced unprecedented economic crises followed by waves of out-migration; they have suffered from violent destruction, made possible by the mechanization of war; they have been drained by suburbanization driven by an industrialized building sector and increasing private car ownership; and they have undergone processes of deindustrialization followed by losses of workplaces and population. This article outlines the historic development of urban shrinkage in the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the aged industrial countries. Based on an extensive evaluation of historic population data, the article provides an overview of the most relevant causes of shrinking cities, and offers an outlook on future demographic trends.


Whereas environmental and social impacts of urban sprawl are widely discussed among scholars from both the natural and social sciences, the spatial consequences of urban decline are nearly neglected when discussing the impacts of land transition. Within the last decade, "shrinkage" and "perforation" have arisen as new terms to explain the land use development of urban regions faced with demographic change, particularly decreasing fertility, aging, and out-migration. Although shrinkage is far from being a "desired" scenario for urban policy makers, this paper argues that a perforation of the built-up structure in dense cities might bring up many positive implications.


This article explores how the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has dealt with growing public scrutiny of its workings. It reviews recent initiatives set up to respond to the Climategate controversy. An independent review of the IPCC undertaken by an international scientific umbrella body—InterAcademy Council—can be shown to have triggered one of the turning points in the debate, placing the focus of attention on the IPCC's transparency and accountability. However, the council's recommendations have been implemented by the IPCC in such a way that the issue of public trust is treated as one of effective communication. The article then explains how IPCC's responses to Climategate can be traced back to the linear model of expertise. The article concludes with a discussion why the challenge of producing policy-relevant knowledge under conditions of heightened public scrutiny also requires new forms of scientific appraisal aimed at wider publics.