Social and Environmental
Accountability Journal

Journal of the Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR)

Aims and scope

Social and Environmental Accountability Journal (SEAJ) is the official Journal of The Centre for Social and Environmental Accounting Research. It is a predominantly refereed Journal committed to the creation of a new academic literature in the broad field of social, environmental and sustainable development accounting, accountability, reporting and auditing. The Journal provides a forum for a wide range of different forms of academic and academic-related communications whose aim is to balance honesty and scholarly rigour with directness, clarity, policy-relevance and novelty.

SEAJ welcomes all contributions that fulfil the criteria of the journal, including empirical papers, review papers and essays, manuscripts reporting or proposing engagement, commentaries and polemics, and reviews of articles or books. A key feature of SEAJ is that papers are shorter than the word length typically anticipated in academic journals in the social sciences. A clearer breakdown of the proposed word length for each type of paper in SEAJ can be found here.

"SEAJ is unique in the social and environmental accounting literature. From emerging issues, to policy engagement, to cutting edge ideas, it leads the way…for research and practice engagement in the latest social and environmental developments, SEAJ is the journal."
Professor Lee D. Parker

RMIT University, Australia and Glasgow University, Scotland

Editor - Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal

Joint Editors

General enquiries about the Journal should be sent to

Oana Apostol
Dr Oana Apostol
Turku School of Economics, Finland

Professor Colin Dey
School of Business, Dundee University, UK

CSEAR Council Member - Ian Thomson, Business School & Director of Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business, University of Birmingham, UK
Professor Ian Thomson
School of Business, Dundee University

Recent Articles

2024-03-08 | Vol: 44 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 85-86
Hamzeh Al Amosh College of Accounting Sciences, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

The Anthropocene reality of financial risk

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2023-11-20 | Vol: 44 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 82-84
Saleh F. A. Khatib Faculty of Management, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

The role of share repurchases for firms' social and environmental sustainability

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2023-12-26 | Vol: 44 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 78-81
Yusuf Adeneye Faculty of Hospitality, Tourism and Wellness, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Pengkalan Chepa, Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Climate Finance Research: A Thematic Review and Directions for the Future

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2024-01-30 | Vol: 44 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 75-77
Martin Farrar AICPA & CIMA, UK

The coming wave: AI, power and the twenty-first century’s greatest dilemma

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Call for papers
Social and Environmental Accountability Journal

Bringing planetary boundaries back to Earth: Rethinking accounting for ecological limits

Deadline for submissions: 30 August 2024

This issue aims to foster a critical engagement with the concept of planetary boundaries in accounting and accountability for ecological limits. In an era marked by significant ecological challenges (i.e. effects of climate change, illegal fishing, deforestation, soil erosion and degradation, water scarcity, among others), understanding ecological limits is crucial. The planetary boundaries framework, introduced by Johan Rockström and his team in 2009, offers a crucial model for understanding and maintaining the ecological limits of our planet amid the growing impact of human activities on the environment. This innovative concept identifies critical thresholds in Earth's system processes, proposing a 'safe operational zone' for human development that respects and preserves these natural limits. Emphasizing the need to adhere to these boundaries, the framework is instrumental in protecting the resilience of our ecosystems and ensuring the sustained health and diversity of both human life and the planet's rich biodiversity (Rockström et al., 2009), but it is also in many ways lacking and open to criticisms. In particular, the societal influence on the scientific knowledge underpinning our understanding of these limits is not fully acknowledged. Critics have challenged the framework as reductionist and technocratic, as short on social, cultural, and political perspectives, as lacking considerations of equity, and as championing technoscientific approaches over other ways of knowing and engaging with ecological limits (Biermann and Kim, 2020; Sobkowiak, Senn, & Vollmer 2023).

There is a growing recognition of the pivotal role accounting practices, broadly considered, can play in identifying, delineating, and managing ecological limits. A range of accounting research has begun to investigate how human activities on Earth can be quantified and valued (see for example Bebbington and Larrinaga-Gonzalez, 2008; Andrew and Cortese, 2011; Bebbington and Larrinaga, 2014; Antonini and Larrinaga, 2017; Cuckston, 2018). In particular, the integration of planetary boundaries into accounting practices (see Linnenluecke et al., 2015; Schaltegger, 2018; Veldman and Jansson, 2020; and Wu et al., 2021 for further details in this area), highlights the potential of accounting to operationalize these concepts through tangible management practices and corporate reporting. Yet, this integration often raises vital debates on social, normative, narrative, and control dimensions (e.g. Jabot, 2023). There is the danger that accounts and accountings for ecological limits which have been extraordinarily productive outside of professional practice in academia and industry end up being marginalised. Arguably, ecocritical writing across the humanities and the environmental social sciences as well as nature writing in general have done more to raise environmental awareness than recent activism among professional and technoscientific elites in accounting, industry, academia, and policy-making coalitions. Moreover, the latter have been confronted and challenged by peripheral, subaltern, multispecies and pluriversal understandings of ecological limits and the vulnerability of life on Earth (see only Escobar 2017; De la Cadena & Blaser 2018; Liboiron 2021). There is room to preserve and expand accounting for ecological limits by means of recognising diverse ways of sensing and reporting on them (Sobkowiak et al. 2023). Although the concept of planetary boundaries has its origins outside traditional accounting, it presents a significant opportunity for accountants to reflect on the existing framework while advocating for a more inclusive and interdisciplinary approach.

This special issue aims to enhance our comprehension of humanity’s impact on Earth’s ecological systems by exploring how the field of accounting can transcend traditional organizational and professional confines and contribute to a more holistic understanding and effective management of, as well as care for, planetary boundaries. To this end, we invite contributions that explore the intersections of accounts and accountings, environmental awareness, ecological limits, and the sustainability of life on earth. We encourage contributions that offer innovative, interdisciplinary, emancipatory, hybrid, and subaltern perspectives, practices, and methodologies, addressing the intricate and interconnected dynamics of our ecological systems and intertwined ways of life. We invite you to join us in encouraging and fostering research and practice that opens up the planetary boundaries framework for a wider engagement with the diverse ways of accounting for ecological limits.

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Madlen Sobkowiak, EDHEC Business School, France

Juliette Senn, Montpellier Business School, France

Hendrik Vollmer, Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick, UK

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Instructions for Authors

Book & Article reviews

SEAJ has a lively reviews section, which provides an important forum for academic discussion. We publish article reviews, book reviews and thematic reviews. Thematic reviews generally cover 3 or 4 recent papers on a similar topic. Our reviews section includes recent articles, books and themes that may be typical to SEAJ readership, but we also hope to introduce readers to articles, books and themes that may be novel to them. We accept proposals for reviews from authors at any stage of their career.


The Reviews Team

Nicolas Garcia-Torea
Universidad de Burgos, Spain
Xinwu He
Queen's University, UK
Erin Twyford
University of Wollongong, Australia

Find out more about the reviews on the aims and scope page.

Book reviews

Published Online: 16 October 2023
Femi Oladele

Urgent business: five myths business needs to overcome to save itself and the planet

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Article reviews

Published Online: 26 December 2023
Yusuf Adeneye

Climate Finance Research: A Thematic Review and Directions for the Future

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The latest SEAJ
Special Issue
Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, Volume 43, Issue 2 (2023)

Accounting in Competing Worlds

Guest Editors:Lee Moerman, Daniel Murphy, Sandra van der Laan & Dianne McGrath

For this special issue the guest editors invited authors to consider the practice of accounting and the mobilisation of accountability in the contested spaces where worlds and values coexist in pluralist societies. The special issue considers how accounting, as a technical practice, privileges market or economic interests and reflect on the implications for accountability to non-economic actors. Despite the limitations of accounting as merely technical, there is potential for accounting in a broader sphere to be enabling.

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Kylie Kingston
Reg Mathews Memorial Prize

Social and Environmental Accountability Journal

About the Prize

The Reg Mathews Memorial Prize is an annual award for the paper considered to have made the most significant contribution towards the social and environmental accounting literature published in Social and Environmental Accountability Journal ( SEAJ). The paper is selected by the Editorial Board of SEAJ and is named in memory of Professor Reg Mathews, a leading figure in the development of social and environmental accounting. The award was established in 2013, and first awarded for papers published in 2012.

Professor Reg Mathews

Professor Reg Mathews was one of social accounting’s earliest and most influential pioneers. An academic for most of his life, he was a prolific author and an exceptionally generous colleague. His influence on the emerging field of social accounting was manifest equally in his tireless support of new academics and in his important papers on such matters as education, approaches to practice and state-of-the-art reviews of the subject. He was the founding joint editor of Social Accounting Monitor, which paved the way for the international CSEAR community and which developed over time into what we now know as Social and Environmental Accountability Journal.

The CSEAR community honoured Reg with a Festchrift entitled Social Accounting, Mega Accounting and Beyond in 2007 and it is entirely fitting that his inestimable contribution be remembered in this annual prize. Reg passed away in 2012 after a long illness.

Prize Winners

Learn more about previous prize winners.

About the Prize

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