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Explaining and Measuring Social-Ecological Pathways: The Case of Global Changes and Water Security

Institute for Environmental Sciences - GEDT & Department of Political Sciences and International Relations, University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
Institute for Environmental Sciences, EnviroSPACE Lab., University of Geneva, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4378;
Received: 29 October 2018 / Revised: 16 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 23 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
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The Social-Ecological Systems framework serves as a valuable framework to explore and understand social and ecological interactions, and pathways in water governance. However, it lacks a robust understanding of change. We argue an analytical and methodological approach to engaging global changes in SES is critical to strengthening the scope and relevance of the SES framework. Relying on SES and resilience thinking, we propose an institutional and cognitive model of change where institutions and natural resources systems co-evolve. Our model of change provides a dynamic understanding of SES that stands on three causal mechanisms: institutional complexity trap, rigidity trap, and learning processes. We illustrate how data cube technology could overcome current limitations and offer reliable avenues for testing hypotheses about the dynamics of Social-Ecological Systems and water security by offering to combine spatial and time data with no major technical requirements for users. View Full-Text
Keywords: social-ecological system; water security; governance; institution; learning; data-cube social-ecological system; water security; governance; institution; learning; data-cube

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Bolognesi, T.; Gerlak, A.K.; Giuliani, G. Explaining and Measuring Social-Ecological Pathways: The Case of Global Changes and Water Security. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4378.

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