Shock and Conflict in Social-Ecological Systems: Implications for Environmental Governance

Kristof Van Assche, Monica Gruezmacher, R. Beunen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we present a framework for the analysis of shock and conflict in social-ecological systems and investigate the implications of this perspective for the understanding of environmental governance, particularly its evolutionary patterns and drivers. We dwell on the distinction between shock and conflict. In mapping the relation between shock and conflict, we invoke a different potentiality for altering rigidity and flexibility in governance; different possibilities for recall, revival and trauma; and different pathways for restructuring the relation between governance, community and environment. Shock and conflict can be both productive and eroding, and for each, one can observe that productivity can be positive or negative. These different effects in governance can be analyzed in terms of object and subject creation, path creation and in terms of the dependencies recognized by evolutionary governance theory: path, inter-, goal and material dependencies. Thus, shock and conflict are mapped in their potential consequences to not only shift a path of governance, but also to transform the pattern of self-transformation in such path. Finally, we reflect on what this means for the interpretation of adaptive governance of social-ecological systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number610
Number of pages14
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE
  • ENVIRONMENT
  • RESILIENCE
  • CONFLICT
  • ADAPTATION
  • POLICY
  • social-ecological systems
  • shock
  • POLITICS
  • adaptation
  • SHIFTS
  • COMMUNITIES
  • IDENTITY
  • RESOURCE DEPENDENCE
  • ADAPTIVE GOVERNANCE
  • CRISIS
  • ECONOMY
  • conflict
  • governance

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