Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 605–623 | Cite as

Environmental Stewardship and Ecological Solidarity: Rethinking Social-Ecological Interdependency and Responsibility

  • Raphaël MathevetEmail author
  • François Bousquet
  • Catherine Larrère
  • Raphaël Larrère


This paper explores and discusses the various meanings of the stewardship concept in the field of sustainability science. We highlight the increasing differences between alternative approaches to stewardship and propose a typology to enable scientists and practitioners to more precisely identify the basis and objectives of the concept of stewardship. We first present the two dimensions we used to map the diversity of stances concerning stewardship. Second, we analyse these positions in relation to the limits of the systemic approach, ideological manipulation, responsibility, and solidarity. In the final section we explain how the concept of ecological solidarity, a core principal in recent French law on biodiversity conservation and national park governance can contribute to the underpinning of a specific form of social-ecological stewardship.


Environmental ethics Solidarity Biodiversity conservation Socio-ecosytem Sustainability 



The research presented in this paper contributes to the research project “Multi-scale adaptations to global change and their impacts on vulnerability in coastal areas” (MAGIC), funded by the French National Research Agency and the Belmont Forum and G8 International Opportunities Fund (IOF 2013).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raphaël Mathevet
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • François Bousquet
    • 3
  • Catherine Larrère
    • 4
  • Raphaël Larrère
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, UMR 5175, CNRS, Université de Montpellier-Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier-EPHEMontpellier Cedex 5France
  2. 2.Institut Français de Pondichéry, UMIFRE 21, CNRS/MAEEPondicherryIndia
  3. 3.GREEN, Univ MontpellierMontpellier Cedex 5France
  4. 4.Université Pari l Panthéon-Sorbonne, Institut des sciences juridique et philosophique de la Sorbonne (UMR8103), Centre de philosophie contemporaine de la Sorbonne (PhiCo)Paris Cedex O5France
  5. 5.Département SAE2 (Sciences Sociales Agriculture et Alimentation, Espace et Environnement)Institut National de la Recherche AgronomiqueParisFrance

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