sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2019) | Viewed by 68364

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: cultural landscape; social–ecological systems; landscape heritage; biocultural diversity; protected areas; nature-based tourism; landscape structure
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: social-ecological systems; landscape metrics; land use changes; cultural landscapes; rural development; urban ecology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social–ecological systems comprise constant and reciprocal interactions and feedbacks between ecological and socioeconomic structures. Current land use changes, mainly due to agricultural intensification, rural abandonment and urbanization processes, cause serious shifts in social–ecological interactions and associated ecosystem services; however, land policies do not often consider such interactions. There is a clear need to include the framework of social–ecological interdependencies in landscape assessment, planning, conservation and management, including criteria for the establishment of protected areas and the valuation of their effectiveness.

The journal Sustainability is hosting a Special Issue on “Social–Ecological Transformations”. Studies are welcome that formulate innovative theoretical and methodological approaches focused on the interaction between society and nature and how they condition and define each other. Contributions on the following themes are of particular interest, though other relevant topics will also be considered:

  • Analytical methods to quantify the links between ecological and socioeconomic structures at different scales
  • Spatial identification of social-ecological systems and their degree of biophysical and socioeconomic coupling
  • Models of social-ecological transitions: change trajectories of social metabolism and land use
  • Social ecological approaches for ecosystem services assessment
  • Cross-scaling governance and resilience in social-ecological systems
  • Sustainability of tourism-based social-ecological systems
  • Social-ecological approach for the establishment and management of protected areas
  • Development of tools based on social-ecological interactions for land planning and decision making

Dr. María Fe Schmitz
Dr. Cristina Herrero de Jáuregui
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • management of protected areas
  • governance
  • resilience
  • sustainable tourism
  • land use change
  • social metabolism
  • social ecological approaches
  • sustainable land planning
  • ecosystem services

Published Papers (13 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review, Other

12 pages, 2653 KiB  
Article
Observations on Appropriate Technology Application in Indigenous Community Using System Dynamics Modelling
by Paulus Daniel Jokhu and Cat Kutay
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2245; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062245 - 13 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3178
Abstract
It is possible to develop a well-sustained society by balancing social, technical, and environmental concerns at the community level. Indigenous governance methods provide enormous prospects for developing well-sustained societies. A limitation is the knowledge gap and lack of interest from dominant cultures. With [...] Read more.
It is possible to develop a well-sustained society by balancing social, technical, and environmental concerns at the community level. Indigenous governance methods provide enormous prospects for developing well-sustained societies. A limitation is the knowledge gap and lack of interest from dominant cultures. With the application of appropriate technology in development, it is possible for Indigenous communities to adjust technology to their uses and transfer their accumulated knowledge to the development of infrastructure and mechanisms for production incorporating cultural value. Activating such talents within the Indigenous community is important for enabling them to achieve their ideal future. Using participatory design methods, Indigenous people can be brought into the development planning to understand the key variables that limit and influence technology development. System dynamic modelling can be adapted to simulate these new attributes and develop plans and objectives based on outcomes from the model. An example is shown around a case study for community development in Papua, Indonesia. This research is to establish a long-term development plan for all stakeholders, while preserving the value of the Indigenous culture. An analysis of Indigenous social behavioral patterns toward development provides an idea of social-constructive values, which will allow Indigenous community to develop self-sustainable and independent communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 1461 KiB  
Article
Are Ecological Modernization Narratives Useful for Understanding and Steering Social-Ecological Change in the Argentine Chaco?
by Matías E. Mastrangelo and Sebastián Aguiar
Sustainability 2019, 11(13), 3593; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11133593 - 29 Jun 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 6973
Abstract
During the past decades, the Ecological Modernization Theory, and associated ideas such as the Forest Transition Theory and Land Sparing Hypothesis, have dominated the academic and policy arenas regarding the solutions to current environmental crises. However, critiques were raised as these theories, originally [...] Read more.
During the past decades, the Ecological Modernization Theory, and associated ideas such as the Forest Transition Theory and Land Sparing Hypothesis, have dominated the academic and policy arenas regarding the solutions to current environmental crises. However, critiques were raised as these theories, originally conceived for developed countries, started to be applied in developing countries for explaining and prescribing social-ecological transitions. Here, we assess the validity of five key assumptions of Ecological Modernization narratives as applied to the Argentine Chaco, a global deforestation hotspot. We reviewed existing literature and conducted straightforward analysis to disentangle relationships among key variables. Although agriculture intensified, there is no evidence that this intensification inhibited agricultural expansion. Rural depopulation took place between 2001 and 2010; however, deforestation rates did not decrease, and the quality of life of migrants did not increase compared to those that stayed in rural areas. Our review suggests that the consequences of agriculture intensification on biodiversity and the provision of multiple ecosystem services exceeds the area used. Therefore, available evidence does not support the assumed causal relationships of Ecological Modernization, and even contradicts most assumptions. We propose a series of analytical shifts to better capture the complexity of social-ecological transitions in modern commodity frontiers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

23 pages, 2543 KiB  
Article
Linking Biophysical and Economic Assessments of Ecosystem Services for a Social–Ecological Approach to Conservation Planning: Application in a Biosphere Reserve (Biscay, Spain)
by Nekane Castillo-Eguskitza, María F. Schmitz, Miren Onaindia and Alejandro J. Rescia
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3092; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113092 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4361
Abstract
The search for a balance between nature conservation and sustainable development remains a scientific and spatial planning challenge. In social-ecological systems based on traditional rural activities and associated with protected areas, this balance is particularly complex. Quantifying the economic impact of land use [...] Read more.
The search for a balance between nature conservation and sustainable development remains a scientific and spatial planning challenge. In social-ecological systems based on traditional rural activities and associated with protected areas, this balance is particularly complex. Quantifying the economic impact of land use changes on ecosystem services can be useful to advise policy makers and improving social-ecological sustainability. In this study, we evaluated the land use changes in a time series and estimated the monetary value of the ecosystem services of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Biscay, Spain). In addition, we linked the monetary and biophysical values of land uses in each zoning units of the reserve, in order to identify the spatial adjustment between both assessments. Results showed that land use changes have clearly homogenized the landscape without substantially affecting its economic value. The methodological approach allowed detection that the reserve zoning was performed based more on its biophysical values than on economic ones. Thus, evident divergences between the biophysical and economic assessments were found. The core area was the one that had the highest coincidences (medium values) between both ecosystem services assessments, which highlights its importance not only in biophysical terms, is also economical. The procedure followed proved to be a useful tool to social-ecological planning and design of specific conservation strategies for the sustainable development of the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

20 pages, 2790 KiB  
Article
Designing Protected Areas for Social–Ecological Sustainability: Effectiveness of Management Guidelines for Preserving Cultural Landscapes
by Patricio Sarmiento-Mateos, Cecilia Arnaiz-Schmitz, Cristina Herrero-Jáuregui, Francisco D. Pineda and María F. Schmitz
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2871; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102871 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4496
Abstract
Rural cultural landscapes are social–ecological systems that have been shaped by traditional human land uses in a co-evolution process between nature and culture. Protected areas should be an effective way to protect cultural landscapes and support the way of life and the economy [...] Read more.
Rural cultural landscapes are social–ecological systems that have been shaped by traditional human land uses in a co-evolution process between nature and culture. Protected areas should be an effective way to protect cultural landscapes and support the way of life and the economy of the local population. However, nature conservation policymaking processes and management guidelines frequently do not take culturalness into account. Through a new quantitative approach, this paper analyzes the regulatory framework of two protected areas under different management categories, located in an ancient cultural landscape of the Madrid Region (Central Spain), to identify the similarities in their conservation commitments and the effectiveness of their zoning schemes. The results show some arbitrariness in the design and management of these parks, highlighting the importance of prohibited measures in their zoning schemes that encourage uses and activities more related to naturalness than to culturalness. The recognition of protected areas as cultural landscapes and their management considering both naturalness and culturalness issues are important methods of better achieving sustainable management objectives from a social–ecological approach. This methodological approach has proven useful to unravel various legislative content, and its application on a larger scale could reveal important information for the sound management of protected areas (PAs) in cultural landscapes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 527 KiB  
Article
Explaining and Measuring Social-Ecological Pathways: The Case of Global Changes and Water Security
by Thomas Bolognesi, Andrea K. Gerlak and Gregory Giuliani
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4378; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124378 - 23 Nov 2018
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4836
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 487 KiB  
Article
A Comparison of Machine-Learning Methods to Select Socioeconomic Indicators in Cultural Landscapes
by Ana D. Maldonado, Darío Ramos-López and Pedro A. Aguilera 
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4312; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114312 - 21 Nov 2018
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3458
Abstract
Cultural landscapes are regarded to be complex socioecological systems that originated as a result of the interaction between humanity and nature across time. Cultural landscapes present complex-system properties, including nonlinear dynamics among their components. There is a close relationship between socioeconomy and landscape [...] Read more.
Cultural landscapes are regarded to be complex socioecological systems that originated as a result of the interaction between humanity and nature across time. Cultural landscapes present complex-system properties, including nonlinear dynamics among their components. There is a close relationship between socioeconomy and landscape in cultural landscapes, so that changes in the socioeconomic dynamic have an effect on the structure and functionality of the landscape. Several numerical analyses have been carried out to study this relationship, with linear regression models being widely used. However, cultural landscapes comprise a considerable amount of elements and processes, whose interactions might not be properly captured by a linear model. In recent years, machine-learning techniques have increasingly been applied to the field of ecology to solve regression tasks. These techniques provide sound methods and algorithms for dealing with complex systems under uncertainty. The term ‘machine learning’ includes a wide variety of methods to learn models from data. In this paper, we study the relationship between socioeconomy and cultural landscape (in Andalusia, Spain) at two different spatial scales aiming at comparing different regression models from a predictive-accuracy point of view, including model trees and neural or Bayesian networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 4079 KiB  
Article
Farmers’ Perception of Water Quality and Risks in the Mashavera River Basin, Georgia: Analyzing the Vulnerability of the Social-Ecological System through Community Perceptions
by Sisira S. Withanachchi, Ilia Kunchulia, Giorgi Ghambashidze, Rami Al Sidawi, Teo Urushadze and Angelika Ploeger
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3062; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093062 - 28 Aug 2018
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 7028
Abstract
Competing natural resources usage that leads to dramatic land use changes can threaten the balance of a social-ecological system. When this is the case, communities are directly exposed to the negative consequences of those land use changes. The Mashavera River Basin is considered [...] Read more.
Competing natural resources usage that leads to dramatic land use changes can threaten the balance of a social-ecological system. When this is the case, communities are directly exposed to the negative consequences of those land use changes. The Mashavera River Basin is considered one of the hotspots of environmental pollution in Georgia. This is of importance for public health because the food production from this basin meets a substantial proportion of the country’s food demand. The farmers’ perception of the water quality and their perceived risks to the economy, health, and lifestyle reflect the status of the environmental and social conditions. The inclusion of farmers’ risk perceptions is an important stage of water quality governance that could enable active civic participation. The approach of this research study was the convergence model in the triangular design of the mixed method approach. As part of the social data, the research study was conducted with a survey of 177 households, for which agriculture was either a main or partial source of income. A few focus group discussions were also conducted. A binary logistic regression analysis was employed as the main method for the analysis. The results from the pollution load index (PLI) were used as the supportive data to verify some geospatial hypotheses. We found that aesthetic attributes (i.e., color changes observed in the river) and the source of the water contamination (i.e., mining sites) were the main predictor variables for a perceived risk to water quality, health, and livelihoods. The people who work in agriculture as the main income source had more concern about their ability to sell their agricultural products as a result of water contamination in the river, compared with people for whom agriculture is a secondary source of income or for self-consumption. Age, amount of land, years of agricultural experience, and the source of water supply for agriculture did not have a significant effect on any of the risk perception or water quality perception models. The results indicate that the health risk is perceived more strongly in areas with more heavily contaminated water compared to less polluted areas. We propose that conducting a public risk perception assessment is an ideal means to detect people’s concerns regarding water quality governance for future risk analysis in Georgia. Another recommendation of this study is an integrated model of risk assessment that combines the results from a public risk perception assessment and a technical assessment. The benefits of such an integrated assessment include finding new hazard-sensitive areas for further analysis, the possibility to cross-check data for verification, communal communication of hazardous conditions by utilizing local knowledge, and the direct participation of the community in monitoring risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 1826 KiB  
Article
Gender and Cross-Scale Differences in the Perception of Social-Ecological Systems
by María Mar Delgado-Serrano and Roberto Escalante Semerena
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 2983; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10092983 - 22 Aug 2018
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3153
Abstract
The sound management of Social-Ecological Systems (SESs) requires a deep knowledge of the system and its dynamics, but effective strategies also need to include the perceptions of the local actors. These perceptions are specific and might differ for different actors. In this research, [...] Read more.
The sound management of Social-Ecological Systems (SESs) requires a deep knowledge of the system and its dynamics, but effective strategies also need to include the perceptions of the local actors. These perceptions are specific and might differ for different actors. In this research, we analyzed the gender and across scales differences in the perception of a SES and unveiled the potential reasons that shape the different actors’ understanding. Using structural analysis tools, we analyzed the perceptions of local women, local men, and external stakeholders on the most relevant variables shaping the actual and future sustainable management of a SES. The research was developed in Santiago Comaltepec, an Indigenous community located in the Sierra de Oaxaca (Mexico) that manage their forest under community-based strategies. The gender differences in perception showed the inequalities in agency, voice, and power between women and men. The comparison of the perceptions between community members and external stakeholders showed greater similarities, but still reflected power differences and differences in knowledge and cultural representations. We concluded that sound and resilient SES management need to recognize the gendered and across scales diversity in perception, knowledge, and practices and create bridges and synergies among knowledge systems to shape desirable trajectories. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 1748 KiB  
Article
Understanding the Past to Envision a Sustainable Future: A Social–Ecological History of the Barranquilla Metropolitan Area (Colombia)
by Juanita Aldana-Domínguez, Carlos Montes and José A. González
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2247; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072247 - 29 Jun 2018
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 6815
Abstract
Urban growth is one of the major sustainability challenges due to its regional and planetary impacts. In the Colombian Caribbean, one of the most biodiverse places in the world, the Barranquilla Metropolitan Area (BMA) is the main urban agglomeration that has driven landscape [...] Read more.
Urban growth is one of the major sustainability challenges due to its regional and planetary impacts. In the Colombian Caribbean, one of the most biodiverse places in the world, the Barranquilla Metropolitan Area (BMA) is the main urban agglomeration that has driven landscape transformation. We performed a historical analysis of human–nature relationships in the BMA using a social–ecological approach and the adaptive cycle metaphor to identify the main drivers of change and to point out emergent lessons for sustainability transition. Based on the analysis of existing literature, time series data and ecosystem distribution changes through time, we found that the natural capital has been degraded, human–social capital has had periods of crisis and recovery, while physical–financial capital has increased. The BMA is currently in a highly vulnerable situation and faces great challenges to be sustainable. We discuss the system´s possible future paths: a new collapse due to natural capital depletion, stagnation in a very vulnerable state, or a reorganization. We argue that viewing and managing the BMA as a social–ecological system would contribute to move forward in a sustainable direction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

26 pages, 1322 KiB  
Review
A Social–Ecological Systems Framework as a Tool for Understanding the Effectiveness of Biosphere Reserve Management
by Ana F. Ferreira, Heike Zimmermann, Rui Santos and Henrik Von Wehrden
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3608; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103608 - 10 Oct 2018
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 5941
Abstract
Biosphere reserves aim to reconciliate social and economic development with biodiversity conservation through complex spatial and governance arrangements. However, there is a generalized lack of information about how biosphere reserves are being managed and governed, and at what point their goals are being [...] Read more.
Biosphere reserves aim to reconciliate social and economic development with biodiversity conservation through complex spatial and governance arrangements. However, there is a generalized lack of information about how biosphere reserves are being managed and governed, and at what point their goals are being achieved, which limits a better understanding of the factors influencing biosphere reserve management effectiveness. Building on a systematic review of existing empirical studies, we developed a framework that identifies the main features related to biosphere reserve management effectiveness. We identified four main categories—context, inputs, process and outcomes—and 53 sub-categories, which interact at different scales and shape biosphere reserve effectiveness. We found that the capacity of biosphere reserves to achieve their goals is not only related to the way they are managed/governed, or to the inputs invested, but to many social and ecological contextual factors. We also identified benefits and impacts that were associated to biosphere reserves around the world. Comparing to other social–ecological system frameworks, ours provides a more inclusive approach, since it integrates the findings of studies with different research perspectives, considers a plurality of values attributed to natural resources, and the social–ecological system’s scales dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 2003 KiB  
Review
What do We Talk about When We Talk about Social-Ecological Systems? A Literature Review
by Cristina Herrero-Jáuregui, Cecilia Arnaiz-Schmitz, María Fernanda Reyes, Marta Telesnicki, Ignacio Agramonte, Marcos H. Easdale, María Fe Schmitz, Martín Aguiar, Antonio Gómez-Sal and Carlos Montes
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2950; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082950 - 20 Aug 2018
Cited by 61 | Viewed by 9893
Abstract
In the last decade, probably in response to global changes and the environmental crisis, the use of the term “social-ecological system” (SES) in scientific literature has grown. This is certainly a sign that the need and importance of transdisciplinary research has been recognized. [...] Read more.
In the last decade, probably in response to global changes and the environmental crisis, the use of the term “social-ecological system” (SES) in scientific literature has grown. This is certainly a sign that the need and importance of transdisciplinary research has been recognized. Here, we explore whether the use of the term is a buzzword or, rather, actually represents a key concept in the integration of social and ecological research. We compiled a database of publications (N = 1289) that mentioned SES in the title, keywords and abstract. Subsequently, we analyzed the authors’ affiliations, type of work (conceptual, empirical or review), study site, prevailing human use, temporal and spatial scales of the analysis, kind of variables analyzed (socioeconomic or biophysical), and the method/s used to integrate them. We detected four time spans in the use of the term (1975–1997, 1998–2006, 2007–2012, 2013–2016). Our results suggest that SES is a widely invoked concept in the study of the interface between social and ecological systems. Most works show some common elements, such as the analysis of resilience, ecosystem services, sustainability, governance and adaptive management. However, the majority of studies do not study SES as a whole, integrating both social and ecological variables and their feedback loops. We consider SES as a concept still in construction in order to build a necessary framework for the integration of social and ecological sciences. For a robust evolution, we recommend that one focus on: (i) A conscious, discussed and agreed effort of scientists to conduct the transdisciplinary research needed to study SES; and (ii) the development of methodological tools for the true integration of social and ecological data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research, Review

2 pages, 775 KiB  
Erratum
Erratum: Herrero-Jáuregui et al., What do We Talk about When We Talk about Social–Ecological Systems? A Literature Review. Sustainability 2018, 10, 2950
by Cristina Herrero-Jáuregui, Cecilia Arnaiz-Schmitz, María Fernanda Reyes, Marta Telesnicki, Ignacio Agramonte, Marcos H. Easdale, María Fe Schmitz, Martín Aguiar, Antonio Gómez-Sal and Carlos Montes
Sustainability 2019, 11(15), 4015; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11154015 - 25 Jul 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2024
Abstract
The authors would like to make the following corrections to their published paper [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Show Figures

Figure 1

9 pages, 211 KiB  
Perspective
Relationality and Social–Ecological Systems: Going Beyond or Behind Sustainability and Resilience
by Raul P. Lejano
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2760; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102760 - 14 May 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4911
Abstract
Sustainability and resilience are most often thought of as systems concepts that evaluate the state and function of objects of interest as well as the system as a whole. In this article, we shift the focus toward the “space in between”—i.e., the relationships [...] Read more.
Sustainability and resilience are most often thought of as systems concepts that evaluate the state and function of objects of interest as well as the system as a whole. In this article, we shift the focus toward the “space in between”—i.e., the relationships among objects in the system. The article develops the concept of relationality, which provides a new lens to understanding what social and material processes drive or impede the functioning and sustainability of a social–ecological system (SES). Relationality seeks to understand a system not so much as a set of interacting objects but a web of relationships. By foregrounding relationships, we are better able to understand the rich ground of practice that guides a system in ways that the formal rational designs do not explain. Several examples are drawn from the literature that suggests how a relational analysis might proceed and what social–ecological phenomena we can better explain by this means. The article ends with a note on how the promise of relational analyses also bears in it its challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Systems. Facing Global Transformations)
Back to TopTop