Problematizing development and education for sustainability

Submission Deadline Date: 5 June 2023


‘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 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 special issue 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. 

List of topic areas

  • Education for Sustainability (EfS),
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),
  • Comparative Education,
  • International Education,
  • Higher Education,
  • Higher Education Collaborations


Among others, 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/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

Abstract proposal submissions (200 words in length) to the guest editors: Dr. Tamara Savelyeva, [email protected] and Dr. Jing Liu, [email protected] by 15 December 2022

5 June 2023 – all papers submitted via the journal’s online submission system 

Oct 2023 – end of the blind peer-review process

Spring 2024 – special issue publication


Submission information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at: 

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see:

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to “Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key deadlines

Opening date for full manuscript submissions: 11 January 2023

Closing date for full manuscript submissions: 5 June 2023    

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

Dr. Tamara Savelyeva, The Hong Kong Institute of Education for Sustainable Development, Hong Kong, China – [email protected]


Dr. Jing Liu, Tohoku University, Japan – [email protected]