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Socioecological System Transformation: Lessons from COVID-19

1
Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada
2
School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
3
Institute for Health Transformations, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
World 2021, 2(1), 15-31; https://doi.org/10.3390/world2010002
Received: 27 November 2020 / Revised: 16 December 2020 / Accepted: 30 December 2020 / Published: 5 January 2021
Environmentalists have long warned of a coming shock to the system. COVID-19 exposed fragility in the system and has the potential to result in radical social change. With socioeconomic interruptions cascading through tightly intertwined economic, social, environmental, and political systems, many are not working to find the opportunities for change. Prefigurative politics in communities have demonstrated rapid and successful responses to the pandemic. These successes, and others throughout history, demonstrate that prefigurative politics are important for response to crisis. Given the failure of mainstream environmentalism, we use systemic transformation literature to suggest novel strategies to strengthen cooperative prefigurative politics. In this paper, we look at ways in which COVID-19 shock is leveraged in local and global economic contexts. We also explore how the pandemic has exposed paradoxes of global connectivity and interdependence. While responses shed light on potential lessons for ecological sustainability governance, COVID-19 has also demonstrated the importance of local resilience strategies. We use local manufacturing as an example of a possible localized, yet globally connected, resilience strategy and explore some preliminary data that highlight possible tradeoffs of economic contraction. View Full-Text
Keywords: degrowth; makers; transition; COVID-19 degrowth; makers; transition; COVID-19
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kish, K.; Zywert, K.; Hensher, M.; Davy, B.J.; Quilley, S. Socioecological System Transformation: Lessons from COVID-19. World 2021, 2, 15-31. https://doi.org/10.3390/world2010002

AMA Style

Kish K, Zywert K, Hensher M, Davy BJ, Quilley S. Socioecological System Transformation: Lessons from COVID-19. World. 2021; 2(1):15-31. https://doi.org/10.3390/world2010002

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kish, Kaitlin; Zywert, Katharine; Hensher, Martin; Davy, Barbara J.; Quilley, Stephen. 2021. "Socioecological System Transformation: Lessons from COVID-19" World 2, no. 1: 15-31. https://doi.org/10.3390/world2010002

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