About the Social Science Library

Mission of the SSL:

Most of the body of knowledge that currently constitutes social science literature has been written by people in the global North. A quick survey of social science journals shows that over 90% are published in nations of the global North. We at the Global Development And Environment Institute, along with many of our colleagues elsewhere, are disturbed and alarmed by this situation. Hence a primary goal of the SSL is give people in the global South some of the tools needed to contribute proportionately to the social sciences, and to speak with a full measure of authority in the ongoing dialog about sustainable development and human well-being. The specific goals of the Social Science Library are:

Sustainable development requires that the policies and activities of governments and the non-profit sector, as well as commerce and industry, be oriented to the promotion of human flourishing in healthy social and natural environments, in the short and the long run. These goals are not always the “economic development” goals pursued by foreign advisors, or by local governments. To counterbalance the ideologies or the self-interest of powerful groups it is necessary for citizens to understand the interactions among social forces, and the ways that these are affected by – and affect – the natural world.

Local self-sufficiency in producing and understanding social science is critical to giving people the ability to effectively evaluate programs, opportunities, policies and promises presented by powerful actors who are often remote from those who will be affected by their decisions. The cumulative knowledge and understanding available through the social sciences – from anthropology to political science, from economics to philosophy – provides hope for humankind’s ability to deal effectively with the individual and collective challenges and choices we face in the 21st century.

The benefits from social science knowledge and understanding cannot be realized where there is little or no access to the existing literature. Even when access is available, it may be difficult to evaluate and select materials from the Internet and other sources of widely varying quality. The characteristics of selectivity, interdisciplinary breadth, and organization make the Social Science Library uniquely qualified to assist potential users.

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SSL Advisory Board:

SSL Editorial and Production Staff:

The Social Science Library is a project of the Global Development And Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University, in conjunction with the UN Decade for Education in Sustainable Development. The following are the individuals who are responsible for the creation of the SSL.

Project Director and Editor-in-Chief: Neva Goodwin, Co-Director, Global Development And Environment Institute, Tufts University

Assistant Project Directors: Jonathan Harris, Director of the Theory and Education Program at GDAE, and Brian Roach, Senior Researcher at GDAE

All of the following members of the SSL Editorial and Production Staff were employed by GDAE for the tasks indicated, unless otherwise noted:

Research Directors

Project Coordinators

Technical Directors:

Assistant Project Coordinators

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Editorial Advisors:




Political Science


Social Psychology

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Tufts University Student Contributors:

Note: the students listed all made extremely valuable contributions to the collection and organization of the SSL; it could not possibly have been created without them. They are listed with the degrees they have earned; while working at GDAE some were undergraduates, and some graduate students, their ages generally ranging between 18 and 24.

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Publishing Partners:

We acknowledge with special appreciation the publishers who have generously permitted reproduction in the Special Collections section of large amounts of material to which they hold copyright. They are, for the Evolving Values series, the University of Michigan Press; for the Frontier Issues series, the Island Press in Washington D.C.; for the selections from books by John Kenneth Galbraith, Houghton Mifflin Publishers, in Boston, Massachusetts; and for the New Global History Series the New Global History Initiative, at www.newglobalhistory.com.

The creators of the SSL are grateful to all owners of copyrighted material who have given permission to reproduce their material in this project. The list below covers publishers or others who hold the copyright for 15 or more articles or book chapters that appear in the SSL collection. Many of these have provided abbreviated descriptions of their activities which can be accessed by clicking on the name of our publishing partner. At the end of each such description there is usually an Internet address through which you can find out more about the organization.

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