Matching Items (24)

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Linking company perceptions with sustainability impacts

Description

This paper provides an analysis of the differences in impacts made by companies that promote their sustainability efforts. A comparison of companies reveals that the ones with greater supply chain

This paper provides an analysis of the differences in impacts made by companies that promote their sustainability efforts. A comparison of companies reveals that the ones with greater supply chain influence and larger consumer bases can make more concrete progress in terms of accomplishment for the sustainability realm.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-05

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Aligning Key Concepts for Global Change Policy: Robustness, Resilience, and Sustainability

Description

Globalization, the process by which local social-ecological systems (SESs) are becoming linked in a global network, presents policy scientists and practitioners with unique and difficult challenges. Although local SESs can

Globalization, the process by which local social-ecological systems (SESs) are becoming linked in a global network, presents policy scientists and practitioners with unique and difficult challenges. Although local SESs can be extremely complex, when they become more tightly linked in the global system, complexity increases very rapidly as multi-scale and multi-level processes become more important. Here, we argue that addressing these multi-scale and multi-level challenges requires a collection of theories and models. We suggest that the conceptual domains of sustainability, resilience, and robustness provide a sufficiently rich collection of theories and models, but overlapping definitions and confusion about how these conceptual domains articulate with one another reduces their utility. We attempt to eliminate this confusion and illustrate how sustainability, resilience, and robustness can be used in tandem to address the multi-scale and multi-level challenges associated with global change.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Building Resilient Pathways to Transformation When “No One is in Charge”: Insights From Australia's Murray-Darling Basin

Description

Climate change and its interactions with complex socioeconomic dynamics dictate the need for decision makers to move from incremental adaptation toward transformation as societies try to cope with unprecedented and

Climate change and its interactions with complex socioeconomic dynamics dictate the need for decision makers to move from incremental adaptation toward transformation as societies try to cope with unprecedented and uncertain change. Developing pathways toward transformation is especially difficult in regions with multiple contested resource uses and rights, with diverse decision makers and rules, and where high uncertainty is generated by differences in stakeholders’ values, understanding of climate change, and ways of adapting. Such a region is the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, from which we provide insights for developing a process to address these constraints. We present criteria for sequencing actions along adaptation pathways: feasibility of the action within the current decision context, its facilitation of other actions, its role in averting exceedance of a critical threshold, its robustness and resilience under diverse and unexpected shocks, its effect on future options, its lead time, and its effects on equity and social cohesion. These criteria could potentially enable development of multiple stakeholder-specific adaptation pathways through a regional collective action process. The actual implementation of these multiple adaptation pathways will be highly uncertain and politically difficult because of fixity of resource-use rights, unequal distribution of power, value conflicts, and the likely redistribution of benefits and costs. We propose that the approach we outline for building resilient pathways to transformation is a flexible and credible way of negotiating these challenges.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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A Comparative Ethnoarchaeological Analysis of Corporate Territorial Ownership

Description

Ecological models are a fundamental tool that archaeologists use to clarify our thinking about the processes that generate the archaeological record. Typically, arguments reasoned from a single model are bolstered

Ecological models are a fundamental tool that archaeologists use to clarify our thinking about the processes that generate the archaeological record. Typically, arguments reasoned from a single model are bolstered by observing the consistency of ethnographic data with the argument. This validation of a model establishes that an argument is reasonable. In this paper, we attempt to move beyond validation by comparing the consistency of two arguments reasoned from different models that might explain corporate territorial ownership in a large ethnographic data set. Our results suggest that social dilemmas are an under appreciated mechanism that can drive the evolution of corporate territorial ownership. When social dilemmas emerge, the costs associated with provisioning the public goods of information on resources or, perhaps, common defence create situations in which human foragers gain more by cooperating to recognize corporate ownership rules than they lose. Our results also indicate that societies who share a common cultural history are more likely to recognize corporate ownership, and there is a spatial dynamic in which societies who live near each other are more likely to recognize corporate ownership as the number of near-by groups who recognize ownership increases. Our results have important implications for investigating the coevolution of territorial ownership and the adoption of food production in the archaeological record.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-02-01

Challenges and Opportunities in Coding the Commons: Problems, Procedures, and Potential Solutions in Large-N Comparative Case Studies

Description

On-going efforts to understand the dynamics of coupled social-ecological (or more broadly, coupled infrastructure) systems and common pool resources have led to the generation of numerous datasets based on a

On-going efforts to understand the dynamics of coupled social-ecological (or more broadly, coupled infrastructure) systems and common pool resources have led to the generation of numerous datasets based on a large number of case studies. This data has facilitated the identification of important factors and fundamental principles which increase our understanding of such complex systems. However, the data at our disposal are often not easily comparable, have limited scope and scale, and are based on disparate underlying frameworks inhibiting synthesis, meta-analysis, and the validation of findings. Research efforts are further hampered when case inclusion criteria, variable definitions, coding schema, and inter-coder reliability testing are not made explicit in the presentation of research and shared among the research community. This paper first outlines challenges experienced by researchers engaged in a large-scale coding project; then highlights valuable lessons learned; and finally discusses opportunities for further research on comparative case study analysis focusing on social-ecological systems and common pool resources. Includes supplemental materials and appendices published in the International Journal of the Commons 2016 Special Issue. Volume 10 - Issue 2 - 2016.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-09-09

Explaining Success and Failure in the Commons: The Configural Nature of Ostrom's Institutional Design Principles

Description

Governing common pool resources (CPR) in the face of disturbances such as globalization and climate change is challenging. The outcome of any CPR governance regime is the influenced by local

Governing common pool resources (CPR) in the face of disturbances such as globalization and climate change is challenging. The outcome of any CPR governance regime is the influenced by local combinations of social, institutional, and biophysical factors, as well as cross-scale interdependencies. In this study, we take a step towards understanding multiple-causation of CPR outcomes by analyzing 1) the co-occurrence of Design Principles (DP) by activity (irrigation, fishery and forestry), and 2) the combination(s) of DPs leading to social and ecological success. We analyzed 69 cases pertaining to three different activities: irrigation, fishery, and forestry. We find that the importance of the design principles is dependent upon the natural and hard human made infrastructure (i.e. canals, equipment, vessels etc.). For example, clearly defined social boundaries are important when the natural infrastructure is highly mobile (i.e. tuna fish), while monitoring is more important when the natural infrastructure is more static (i.e. forests or water contained within an irrigation system). However, we also find that congruence between local conditions and rules and proportionality between investment and extraction are key for CPR success independent from the natural and human hard made infrastructure. We further provide new visualization techniques for co-occurrence patterns and add to qualitative comparative analysis by introducing a reliability metric to deal with a large meta-analysis dataset on secondary data where information is missing or uncertain.

Includes supplemental materials and appendices publications in International Journal of the Commons 2016 Special Issue. Volume 10 - Issue 2 - 2016

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-09-09

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How Does a Divided Population Respond to Change?

Description

Most studies on the response of socioeconomic systems to a sudden shift focus on long-term equilibria or end points. Such narrow focus forgoes many valuable insights. Here we examine the

Most studies on the response of socioeconomic systems to a sudden shift focus on long-term equilibria or end points. Such narrow focus forgoes many valuable insights. Here we examine the transient dynamics of regime shift on a divided population, exemplified by societies divided ideologically, politically, economically, or technologically. Replicator dynamics is used to investigate the complex transient dynamics of the population response. Though simple, our modeling approach exhibits a surprisingly rich and diverse array of dynamics. Our results highlight the critical roles played by diversity in strategies and the magnitude of the shift. Importantly, it allows for a variety of strategies to arise organically as an integral part of the transient dynamics-as opposed to an independent process-of population response to a regime shift, providing a link between the population's past and future diversity patterns. Several combinations of different populations' strategy distributions and shifts were systematically investigated. Such rich dynamics highlight the challenges of anticipating the response of a divided population to a change. The findings in this paper can potentially improve our understanding of a wide range of socio-ecological and technological transitions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-07-10

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Games for Groundwater Governance: Field Experiments in Andhra Pradesh, India

Description

Groundwater is a common-pool resource that is subject to depletion in many places around the world as a result of increased use of irrigation and water-demanding cash crops. Where state

Groundwater is a common-pool resource that is subject to depletion in many places around the world as a result of increased use of irrigation and water-demanding cash crops. Where state capacity to control groundwater use is limited, collective action is important to increase recharge and restrict highly water-consumptive crops. We present results of field experiments in hard rock areas of Andhra Pradesh, India, to examine factors affecting groundwater use. Two nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) ran the games in communities where they were working to improve watershed and water management. Results indicate that, when the links between crop choice and groundwater depletion is made explicit, farmers can act cooperatively to address this problem. Longer NGO involvement in the villages was associated with more cooperative outcomes in the games. Individuals with more education and higher perceived community social capital played more cooperatively, but neither gender nor method of payment had a significantly effect on individual behavior. When participants could repeat the game with communication, similar crop choice patterns were observed. The games provided an entry point for discussion on the understanding of communities of the interconnectedness of groundwater use and crop choice.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Social roles and performance of social-ecological systems: evidence from behavioral lab experiments

Description

Social roles are thought to play an important role in determining the capacity for collective action in a community regarding the use of shared resources. Here we report on the

Social roles are thought to play an important role in determining the capacity for collective action in a community regarding the use of shared resources. Here we report on the results of a study using a behavioral experimental approach regarding the relationship between social roles and the performance of social-ecological systems. The computer-based irrigation experiment that was the basis of this study mimics the decisions faced by farmers in small-scale irrigation systems. In each of 20 rounds, which are analogous to growing seasons, participants face a two-stage commons dilemma. First they must decide how much to invest in the public infrastructure, e.g., canals and water diversion structures. Second, they must decide how much to extract from the water made available by that public infrastructure. Each round begins with a 60-second communication period before the players make their investment and extraction decisions. By analyzing the chat messages exchanged among participants during the communication stage of the experiment, we coded up to three roles per participant using the scheme of seven roles known to be important in the literature: leader, knowledge generator, connector, follower, moralist, enforcer, and observer. Our study supports the importance of certain social roles (e.g., connector) previously highlighted by several case study analyses. However, using qualitative comparative analysis we found that none of the individual roles was sufficient for groups to succeed, i.e., to reach a certain level of group production. Instead, we found that a combination of at least five roles was necessary for success. In addition, in the context of upstream-downstream asymmetry, we observed a pattern in which social roles assumed by participants tended to differ by their positions. Although our work generated some interesting insights, further research is needed to determine how robust our findings are to different action situations, such as biophysical context, social network, and resource uncertainty.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Weak feedbacks, governance mismatches, and the robustness of social-ecological systems: an analysis of the Southwest Nova Scotia lobster fishery with comparison to Maine

Description

The insights in Governing the Commons have provided foundational ideas for commons research in the past 23 years. However, the cases that Elinor Ostrom analyzed have been exposed to new

The insights in Governing the Commons have provided foundational ideas for commons research in the past 23 years. However, the cases that Elinor Ostrom analyzed have been exposed to new social, economic, and ecological disturbances. What has happened to these cases since the 1980s? We reevaluated one of Ostrom’s case studies, the lobster and groundfishery of Port Lameron, Southwest Nova Scotia (SWNS). Ostrom suggested that the self-governance of this fishery was fragile because the government did not recognize the rights of resource users to organize their own rules. In the Maine lobster fishery, however, the government formalized customary rules and decentralized power to fishing ports. We applied the concepts of feedback, governance mismatches, and the robustness of social-ecological systems to understand the pathway of institutional change in Port Lameron. We revisited the case of Port Lameron using marine harvesters’ accounts collected from participant observation, informal interviews and surveys, and literature on fisheries policy and ecology in SWNS and Maine. We found that the government’s failure to recognize the customary rights of harvesters to organize has weakened feedback between the operational level, where resource users interact with the resource, and the collective-choice level, where agents develop rules to influence the behavior of resource users. This has precipitated governance mismatches, which have led harvesters to believe that the decision-making process is detrimental to their livelihoods. Thus, harvesters rarely participate in decision making and resist regulatory change. In Maine, harvesters can influence decisions through participation, but there is a trade-off. With higher influence in decisions, captains have co-opted the decision-making process. Nevertheless, we suggest that the fisheries of SWNS are more vulnerable to social-ecological change because of weaker feedbacks than in Maine. Finally, we have discussed the potential benefits of polycentricity to both fisheries.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-11-30