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Special Issue for International Journal of Comparative Education and Development (Emerald UK)

Special Issue Title: Problematizing Development and Education for Sustainability

Guest Editors: Tamara Savelyeva and Jing Liu


‘Education for Sustainability’ (EfS) refers to the arena of studies and policy discourse that emerged rather abruptly into the mainstream in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Rooted in the global development agenda (UN WCED, 1987), the EfS arena of studies has undergone lexical variations over the past 30 years. The terms ‘Sustainability Education’, ‘Education for Sustainable Development’, ‘Sustainable Education’, and ‘Education for Sustainable Development Goals’ have been used interchangeably in the EfS-related literature. Although grounded in the common threefold—society, environment, economy—sustainable development framework (IUCN UNEP WWF, 1980), much of the contemporary EfS research is centered around the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (UN, 2015). To date, EfS remains an open discourse with multiple interpretations of its intentionality, implementation, and culture-specific underpinnings in the field of educational studies. Whilst navigating itself through two major global-scale financial crises and intense geopolitics, the EfS discourse continues to evolve. It reinvents itself and produces relevant research that paves new ways to understanding and achieving global sustainability.

The present Special Issue (SI) of the International Journal of Comparative Education and Development calls for manuscript submissions with the main theme of

Problematizing Development and Education for Sustainability

The SI intends to open a dialogue cum critical reflections on the EfS’s journey and the current state of affairs in the field of comparative and international education. Among other subthemes are:

  • EfS as a discourse and its evolution
  • EfS advances in higher education, including collaborations with other educational sectors such as basic, formal, indigenous education
  • Culturally and regionally specific articulations and dynamics of EfS
  • EfS in relation to hyper-globalization and anti-growth discourses such as Minimalism and Degrowthism
  • Post 2030 SDGs prospects and EfS directions

Timeline and Review Process

  • December 15, 2022 abstract proposal submissions (200 words in length) to the guest editors, Dr. Tamara Savelyeva: and Dr. Jing Liu:
  • April 23, 2023full paper submissions via the journal’s centralized on-line submission system
  • July 2023 end of the blind-review process
  • January 2024 Special Issue publication


To submit the paper abstracts or for more information, contact the guest editors

Dr. Tamara Savelyeva: and Dr. Jing Liu:


International Union for Conservation of Nature, United Nations Environment Programme, World Wide Fund for Nature (IUCN, UNEP, WWF). (1980), World Conservation Strategy. Living Resource Conservation for Sustainable Development. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Liu, J., Kitamura, Y. and Savelyeva, T. (2022), “Building ‘Ecology’ for Transforming Higher Education Teaching and Learning for Sustainability”, Asia Pacific Education Review.

Meadows, D.H., Meadows, D.L., Randers, J. and Behrens, W.W. (1972), The Limits to Growth. Universe Books, New York, NY.

Savelyeva, T. and Rickards, S. (2017), “Sustainability Education in the Asia-Pacific region”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 18 No. 2, pp. 166-170.

United Nations (UN). (2015), Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development a/RES/70/1. United Nations, New York, NY.

United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development. (UN WCED). (1987), Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: our Common Future [Brundtland Report]. 4 August 1987, A/42/427. United Nations, New York, NY.

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