Call for Papers:

Integrated and Coherent Sustainable Development

2017 International Conference of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC)

30-31 October 2017

Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Aguascalientes, Mexico

Organized by CIDE, Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (INECOL), and the University of Helsinki

The Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC) promotes the comparative examination of the human and environmental impacts of various aspects of regional integration across geographic areas. The 2017 RISC Consortium International Conference and Doctoral/Postdoctoral School is associated with the proposed Integralidad GAMMA (Innovación para la Gestión Ambiental del Desarrollo Apoyado en Datos Masivos y Aprendizaje Automatizado) research project. The objective of the project is to support innovative methods for the study of the concept of “ecosystem integrity” which is a natural benchmark for measuring the conservation status of ecosystems at a given time and place. It is defined as the state of an ecosystem that arises from its self-organization capacity in accordance with the local physicochemical factors and biological processes. It stimulates development strategies that integrate socio-economic and ecological systems for the promotion of healthy development. The focus of the project is to innovate how ecosystem integrity is operationalized through the use of new technologies and big data as well as how it infuses decision-making through the implementation of emerging policy-making norms, such as policy coherence for development. The project aims to highlight our understanding of socio-ecological systems, analyze the impacts of development policies on the health of these systems and inform mechanism design to enhance/preserve ecosystem integrity. The 2017 RISC conference aims to contribute to the state of the art in the fields of ecosystem integrity and policy coherence for development and highlight the links between them through discussions on “Integrated and Coherent Sustainable Development.” The conference will include both keynote panels (by invitation) and panels organized by the consortium’s working groups.

The deadline for the submission of paper proposals is 30 June 2017. All proposals should be sent to including 1) Proposed paper title, 2) Author name(s) and contact information, 3) Author affiliation(s) and position(s), 3) A 100-200 word abstract and 4) The name of the panel for which the paper is being proposed. All papers presented at the conference can be submitted for publication in the RISC Consortium’s peer-reviewed journal Regions & Cohesion (Berghahn Journals). Papers focusing on border regions can be submitted for the Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS) Best Paper Prize. The RISC Consortium values proposals from early-career scholars which can be combined with participation in the consortium’s doctoral/postdoctoral school on “Integrated and Coherent Sustainable Development” that will be held from 1-3 November in association with this conference (see call for applications at

Conference Costs: The RISC Consortium provides accommodation and conference meals for participants affiliated with the consortium’s member institutes. Non-affiliated scholars must pay for their own accommodation as well as a 100 euro conference registration fee. International travel is the responsibility of conference participants.

Panel I: Environmental Issues at a Crossroads with Sustainable Development Paradigms

Working Group: Management of Strategic Resources, Environment and Society

Coordinators: Dr. Carmen Maganda (INECOL, Mexico) and Dr. Edith Kauffer (CIESAS Sureste, Mexico)

When the term “sustainable development” was coined more tan thirty years ago,

it clearly meant that the patterns of development being pursued were not sustainable.

Mostafa K. Tolba (2007)

The paradigm of sustainable development must be faced in different dimensions and by different sectors. Authors such as Donella Meadows, et. al. (1972, 1992), Sharachchandra Lele (1991), Gilbert Rist (2002), and David Griggs, et. al. (2013), among many others, have been debating for decades or years on the political, economic and social-operative challenges of the sustainable development paradigm, including sustainable macro-objectives for development.

This panel aims to revisit these challenges and promote the theoretical and practical discussion around the notions of “integrated” and “coherent” sustainable development from the perspective of environmental problems. The analysis can be guided by some initial questions such as: What are the elements that have hindered sustainable environmental development? What are the constraints linked to the coherence and comprehensiveness identified in the political, empirical and theoretical aspects of different case studies on environmental issues for the implementation of the MDGs and SDGs? In what way do development discourses still contrast with local realities? With regard to water management, is it still possible to speak of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) as an integrated and coherent approach? What are or would be the key actors to promote coherent and integrated development in the area of ​​sustainability/environmental sustainability?

Panel II: Policy Coherence for Integrated Sustainable Development

Working Group: Development, Equity and Policy Coherence

Coordinators: Dr. Lauri Siitonen (University of Helsinki, Finland) and Dr. Harlan Koff (University of Luxembourg)

Policy Coherence for Development (PCD) is a policy tool advanced by international organizations and national governments for the purpose of prioritizing development in global affairs. PCD aims to reinforce development policies by ensuring that actions in other policy arenas (such as trade, security, agriculture, etc.) and inconsistencies within development strategies themselves, do not undermine development goals. PCD has become a pillar of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda. One of PCD’s greatest limits, however, is its lack of definition of which type of development it aims to promote. For this reason, this panel invites paper proposals which focus on “Integrated Sustainable Development” and its interaction with other policy arenas. What does “Integrated Sustainable Development” mean? How is it pursued by development actors? How is it undermined by strategies in other policy arenas, such as energy, trade, security, finance, etc.? The panel organizers welcome proposals from all disciplines. Both theoretical and empirical proposals are welcome.

Panel III: Intersectoral and Participatory Public Health Policy Approaches to Urban Health Issues: A Look at Successful Policy Experiences

Working Group: Civil society, Vulnerable Populations, and State Policies of Health and Well-being

Coordinator: Dr. Robert Dover and Dr. Claudia Puerta Silva (both of the Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia)

Urban health policies tend to locate the responsibility for interventions in topic-specific government agencies, not taking into consideration the multiple causalities of different urban variables that can lead to the health issues that affect different populations in the same urban geography.  NCDs, environmental illness, social dysfunction are complex health issues that do not necessarily obey agency jurisdictions and require a multi-variable intersectoral approach to be successfully identified and resolved.  In this panel we will look at specific case studies at the neighborhood, municipal and regional level of government health interventions that have considered creative interagency cooperation and the sorts of integrated processes that have been developed to resolve complex health problems.  The intent of the panel is to demonstrate that intersectoral policy development and not single agency intervention leads to coherent, and socially, politically and environmentally viable responses to urban health needs.  The idea is to also demonstrate that multisectoral participation at micro, meso and macro levels also contributes to coherent and integral approaches to local and regional health issues.

Panel IV: Exploring the Social Ecology of Borderlands

Working Group: Comparative Border and Migration Politics

Coordinator: Dr. Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (University of Victoria, Canada)

What is modern in the modern state system is the overwhelming idea that boundaries organize and delineate powers across the world, yet territorial integrity remains contentious in a contemporary world where sustainability questions have risen to challenge those strict ordering principles, and where as argued by Bookchin, a social ecology of our world “sheds light on human social problems and may lead to ecological dislocations.”  The primary goal of this panel is to explore whether a social ecology of borders will help us understand more broadly the social ecology of territory, through two related propositions: First, for centuries borders were territorial interfaces, marginal spaces of human consciousness, whereas the rather recent 18th century’s modern international system imposed a territorial order, with rule of law and land surveyors, that organized bounded territories into a few colonial, sovereign and unalterable territorial units. Second, this international geopolitical system is now faced with serious challenges of self-determination and agency for instance. Our social ecology of borderlands points to borders that are also areas where human social and economic flows, like sea-tides, challenge the order of this international system. In line with Bhabha’s The Location of Culture a social ecology of borderlands points to spaces of cooperation and confrontation of social and economic relations where the current postmodern liminality of borderlands is a world where borders take many other forms and functions; they are international boundaries, walls, virtual borders, natural reserves and peace parks, and other forms, in an increasingly territorially divided world.

Panel V: Establishing Policy Coherence Between Ecosystem Integrity, Disasters, and Development

Working Group: The Social Construction of Risk and Disasters

Coordinator: Dr. Sonia Moran (INECOL, Mexico)

Natural events are transformed into disasters through incoherent development models that do not integrate ecosystem integrity sufficiently. International organizations, such as The World Conservation Union, have recognized that ecosystem management can contribute to more effective reduction of disaster risk in two major ways. First, well-managed ecosystems can mitigate the impact of most natural hazards. Second, productive ecosystems can support sustainable income-generating activities which decrease social vulnerability. For ecosystems to make these contributions, coherent development strategies need to be identified and implemented. This panel investigates the relationships between ecosystem integrity, disasters prevention/response policies and development. Paper proposals can present theoretical or empirical research aimed at policy formulation at the international, national or sub-national levels, or they can focus on practices/projects that have been implemented locally or nationally by communities, governments or development agencies. The organizers particularly welcome paper proposals that examine policy coherence for sustainable development in the field of disasters, risk and vulnerability.

Panel VI: Violent Resource Extraction, Conflict and Threats to Ecosystem Integrity

Working Group: Conflict, Violence and Citizen Security

Coordinator: Dr. Juan Carlos Velez Rendon (Universidad de Antioquia, Mexico)

At present, ecosystems face different threats, represented in some cases by forms of legal, informal and illegal extraction of natural resources, in institutional settings with regulations that are ineffective for ensuring the integrity of (sustainable) development. The actors involved in these forms of legal, informal and illegal resource extraction take advantage of inequitable trade agreements (free trade agreements), inoperative national regulations, ineffective authorities or forms of violent coercion to carry out extraction activities that cause strong and in some cases irreversible impacts on fragile natural environments and conflicts within local communities located in the affected areas. Taking the tension between these types of extractive activities and the ecosystems in which they are carried out as context, the panel seeks to reflect on cases in which actors appeal to violent forms of resource management, as well as public policies aimed at preventing this violence and responding to the protection of ecosystems. Finally, the panel seeks to identify proposals for the prevention of violent conflict and promotion of greater coherence of public security policies and effective protection of ecosystems.

Panel VII: Quality of Democracy, Integrated and Coherent Sustainable Development and the SDGs

Working Group: The Quality of Democracy

Coordinators: Dr. Suzanne Graham (University of Johannesburg, South Africa) and Dr. Victoria Graham (Monash University, South Africa)

There is an assumption in the literature on sustainable development that more social participation and more open policy channels will lead to more integrated and coherent development policies, especially since the  adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This panel examines whether this assumption is necessarily true. Key questions, amongst others, to be addressed by the panel include: What is the relationship between the quality of democracy and ecosystem integrity? How does the quality of democracy relate to policy coherence for development? What impacts do public participation in policy-making have on ecosystem integrity? How can stakeholders contribute to the establishment of integrated and coherent sustainable development strategies? How can the quality of democracy framework be integrated into the SDGs? The panel welcomes both theoretical and emperical proposals that focus on the supranational, national or sub-national levels of governance. Comparative research is especially welcome.

Conference Scientific Committee: Dr. Miguel Equihua, (INECOL), Dr. Octavio Perez-Maqueo, (INECOL), Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega, (CIDE), Dr. José Jaime Sainz Santamaria, (CIDE), Dr. Lauri Siitonen, (University of Helsinki), Dr. Harlan Koff, (University of Luxembourg)

Fri, 04/28/2017 – 12:00Fri, 06/30/2017 – 23:59