SPEN is the Social Policy and Environment Network. It was established at the 2014 SPA conference in Sheffield, following on from the success of the first panels on Social Policy and the Environment that were held at this conference.

SPEN aims to provide a forum to bring together all researchers working at the interface of social policy and environmental issues, as well as those whose are initiating the introduction of the topic into their teaching programmes. The group initially consisting mainly of SPA members. Its coverage is wide since environmental issues range from the local to the global.

The research agendas include:

  • Environmental and social justice
  • Social sustainability
  • Green social policy
  • Social movements and environmental movements
  • Low carbon development
  • Global and national governance of environmental issues
  • The interface between social and environmental policies and the scope for synergistic eco-social policies
  • Comparative analysis of welfare states and environmental states
  • Economic growth, social wellbeing and planetary boundaries
  • Climate change adaption, climate change mitigation and Social Policy
  • Environmental values
  • Equity and social policy issues in relation to environmental policy and programmes
  • ‘Food’ and the food system

SPEN is essentially a virtual community, but it will meet annually at each SPA conference where it will present at least one stream of sessions on these issues. We will also aim to organise some smaller meetings and workshops between the annual SPA conferences at different locations, where possible. In addition, we will aim to support research proposals and possible research collaborations on relevant areas of research.

For more information on SPEN contact Johan Nordensvard at J.O.Nordensvard@soton.ac.uk, lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Southampton.