"As with an earlier "Human Relations Theory" in Management, much of "people-environment" theory and research, in their various guises, has been a product of a particular type of social and economic organization and political control (or mode of production) which developed in particular places, under particular conditions and at particular times ("Western" market economies of the 1950s and 60s). Similarly, a-historical and often ethnocentric ideologies and formulations concerning "first" and "third worlds", originating in the 1950s, have inhibited the development of an adequate understanding of the interdependent development of societies and built (as well as natural) environments on a global scale. The paper will put forward the case for two inter-related and theoretically-informed histories: the first, drawing on world systems theory and recent work in urban polital economy, will construct an agenda for investigating the social production of the built environment on a global scale. The second will develop an outline for a reflexive and critical sociology and history of ideas concerning social knowledge of people and their built environment."