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Article

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

1
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3, Canada
2
Harris Centre, Memorial University, St. John’s, NL A1A 1B3, Canada
3
School of Science and the Environment, Grenfell Campus Memorial University, Corner Brook, NL A2H 5G4, Canada
4
Faculty of Management, Science & Technology, Open University, 6401 DL Heerlen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Grigorios L. Kyriakopoulos
Sustainability 2022, 14(2), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020610
Received: 18 December 2021 / Revised: 30 December 2021 / Accepted: 4 January 2022 / Published: 6 January 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Policy and Governance: Evolutionary Perspectives)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: shock; conflict; social-ecological systems; governance; adaptation shock; conflict; social-ecological systems; governance; adaptation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Van Assche, K.; Gruezmacher, M.; Beunen, R. Shock and Conflict in Social-Ecological Systems: Implications for Environmental Governance. Sustainability 2022, 14, 610. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020610

AMA Style

Van Assche K, Gruezmacher M, Beunen R. Shock and Conflict in Social-Ecological Systems: Implications for Environmental Governance. Sustainability. 2022; 14(2):610. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020610

Chicago/Turabian Style

Van Assche, Kristof, Monica Gruezmacher, and Raoul Beunen. 2022. "Shock and Conflict in Social-Ecological Systems: Implications for Environmental Governance" Sustainability 14, no. 2: 610. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14020610

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