Ester Boserup Conference 2010

Conference Date: November 15 – 17, 2010 in Vienna, Austria

Call for Contributions

Ester Boserup was one of the pioneers of an integrated theoretical approach to questions of development and sustainability. 2010 marks the centennial of her birth. The Ester Boserup Conference 2010 “Long-term trajectories in population, gender relations, land use, and the environment” wishes to pay tribute to her work and to her intellectual heritage.

Ester Boserup’s work focused on understanding processes of social change. She conceptualized human societies – in their present-day form and in their historical development – as dynamic relationships between natural, economic, cultural, and political structures. This interdisciplinary approach to social development and the manner in which Boserup positioned herself at the interface between academia and politics form integral parts of her intellectual legacy. The conference will therefore consider contributions addressing her approach, her interface position and the applicability of her theories to current sustainability issues.

Keynote presentations structure the conference. They highlight Boserup’s theoretical work, intellectual legacy and relevance to policy institutions (preliminary topics included):

  • Billie Lee Turner II: Agriculture and Land Use
  • Ramon Lopez: Development Issues
  • Marina Fischer-Kowalski: Long-Term Socio-Ecological Change
  • Wolfgang Lutz: Population, Education and Economy (tbc)
  • Melissa Leach: Sustainable Livelihoods (tbc)

Additional biographical inputs will contribute to a complete picture of the life and work of Ester Boserup.

We would like to invite you to participate by contributing to one of the sessions listed below; designated session leaders are indicated in brackets:

  • Development (Claudia Binder)
  • Gender and Globalization (Parto Teherani-Krönner)
  • Integrated Modelling of Land-System Change (Helmut Haberl)
  • Intensified Production in the Context of World Trade (Faye Duchin)
  • Land Use Change: The Triple Exposure to Climate, Population, and Globalization (Anette Reenberg)
  • New Approaches for Understanding Land-Use Intensity (Karlheinz Erb)
  • Population and Economy (Sigrid Stagl)
  • Rural systems and socio-ecological transitions (Fridolin Krausmann)
  • Gender (Sara Scherr, tbc)
  • Rural/Regional Development (Marianne Penker, tbc)
  • Land Use and Climate Change (tba)
  • Boserupian and Malthusian Approaches (tba)
  • Time Use and Social Change (tba)

All session titles are preliminary and will be specified by the session leaders according to the contributions received. If you would like to propose a new session, or chair one of the sessions listed as tba, please contact us at Please submit your abstract of no more than 500 words for a presentation during the conference or a poster to no later than June 28, 2010. If possible, indicate the session to which you would contribute. Further technical details concerning the presentations and posters will be available on the conference website at

The members of the conference’s scientific board are: Prof. Dr. Marina Fischer-Kowalski (Alpen Adria University), Prof. Dr. Claudia Binder (University of Graz), Prof. Dr. Sigrid Stagl (Vienna University of Economics and Business), and Prof. Anette Reenberg (University of Copenhagen).

Further information about the conference will be available at Please direct any questions or comments you may have to the team at the Institute of Social Ecology Vienna at

We look forward to seeing you in Vienna!

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