Stewardship, care and relational values


Stewardship is a popular term for describing action in pursuit of sustainability. There is growing interest in how relational values, such as care, animate stewardship action. In this paper we develop relational understandings of care in stewardship, in so doing infusing the relational values literature with modes of ‘relational thinking’ increasingly adopted in sustainability science. We use three theoretical perspectives — dwelling, sense of place and biocultural diversity — to articulate three key aspects of relational approaches to care in stewardship: firstly, care as emergent from social-ecological relations, secondly, care as embodied and practiced, and thirdly, care as situated and political. Relational approaches to stewardship research and practice can lead to more nuanced, ethical and effective pathways to sustainability.


Theme affiliation: Stewardship & transformation
Publication info: West., S., Haider, J.L., Masterson, V. et al. 2018. Stewardship, care and relational values. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. Available online 5 November 2018. DOI:


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