Routledge Handbook of Social and Sustainable Finance

Editor: Prof. Dr. Othmar M. Lehner


This handbook, containing the most comprehensive and up-to-date collection of writings in social and sustainable finance, will stand as a standard reference work for students, academics, policy makers, analysts and other professionals. Bringing in inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives, including relevant sociological and political dimensions, the publication will find a place on the shelves of major university libraries, policymakers and financial professionals around the globe.

The purposes of the handbook are as follows:

• To clarify the concepts of social finance and sustainable finance and to delineate their boundaries;
• To map out, display and scale the disparate voices, traditions and public and professional communities engaged in social finance and sustainable finance;
• To develop a range of analytical approaches, theoretical constructs and metrics for decision-making.

We are looking for submissions of chapter proposals for the following three topic areas:

The Landscape and Scale of Social and Sustainable Finance
Markets, Institutions, Actors and Instruments
Challenges, Critiques and Policy Proposals

Context of the Book

Over the last few years, sociological as well as economic developments have combined to raise the level of activities and policy interest in various forms of social and sustainable finance and investments. However, funding sources and rationales for these initiatives have been neglected so far in the literature as distinct subjects for inquiry. Nevertheless, foundations, individual- and group investors, the global internet-crowd, as well as government agencies have become increasingly interested and willing to support more socially, economically and environmentally sustainable forms of funding and wealth creation.
New institutions and actors have been exploring hybrid logics, mechanisms and rationales for investment that combine social and environmental components of value, together with personal values and the disciplined pursuit of financial returns - this often despite the lack of availability of suitable metrics and instruments for building such portfolios. Public and private philanthropic finance have been explored as a means to encourage and empower innovative private (social)-entrepreneurial activities aiming to deliver social value and at the same time becoming financially independent through market-based activities. However, at the present stage of development there seems to be no rational, efficient global market - more a network of supply, demand, and intermediary groups linking capital and projects.
At the same time but in a distinct field, sustainable finance addresses a heterogeneous hodgepodge of various investments aiming for environmental, social or economic sustainability, with a strong focus on risk management. While everyone seems to approve its value proposition, few actually agree on the definition and scope of ‘sustainable finance and investment’. Many scholars however see a strong overlap and blurred boundaries between ‘social’ and ‘sustainable’ finance, especially when looking at the societal and economic developments that lead to the emergence of both of these concepts.
The focus of the book will thus be international and inter-disciplinary - inviting perspectives from various cultures, organizations and markets. It will be distributed to all major university libraries and made available to policy makers around the globe.

The Landscape of Social and Sustainable Finance and Investments (Streams:)
• The ‘Whatness’ and Limits of Sustainable Investment
• Impact Investing, Funding Social Innovation and Related Actors
• Cooperative, Public and Mutual Finance
• Micro-Finance and Micro-Lending
• Venture Philanthropy
• Crowd-Funding and Retail Social Investors
• Environmental Finance and Investment

Challenges, Suggestions, Critiques, and Debates (Streams:)
• Critical Dimensions of Social and Sustainable Finance
• Performance Measurement and Suitable Metrics
• Regulation and Public Policy
• Islamic Finance
• Risk Society and Its Implications
• Hybrid Rationalities and Forms
• Historical Backgrounds on Social and Sustainable Finance
• Discourse Analysis and the Concept of Power
• The Role of Welfare States
• Financial Markets Reforms and Policy Issues
• Corporate governance and Corporate Social Responsibility

Markets and Institutions (Streams:)
• Carbon and Environmental Finance Markets
• Human rights and Emerging Markets
• Social and Sustainable Banking
• Environmental Accounting
• The Scale - and Scaling of Social Investments
• Crowdfunding as Market
• Neo-Institutionalisms- and Social Origins Perspectives
• Investment Portfolio Construction
• Public Private Partnerships and Public Policies
• Principal Agent Theory and Information Economics
• Social Risk and Impact Management
• Metrics, Instruments and Mathematical Approaches
• Business Models in the Hybrid Venture Area
• CSR markets and Corporate Sustainability monitoring