One of the recurrent themes in the editorials of Environmental Sciences has been the relationship between science and policy. The concern has been not so much with the methods of science and how they are translated into policy (important though these are), rather we have tried to focus on how scientific (and other forms of) knowledge are integrated within the social and political context. An underlying question for us has been: how does scientific inquiry interact with political processes and practices to determine environmental policy making? At the same time, we must recognize that the dominant values and processes of a global neoliberalism act as constraints defining and determining what, in environmental terms, is possible, practicable and desirable. In the current state of affairs there appear to be considerable limits to the prospects for truly sustainable forms of development.