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How social-ecological resilience practice engages with complexity
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0158-164X
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0173-0112
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates how cases of social-ecological resilience practice are engaging with complexity across a diversity of contexts and approaches. Compared to some other resilience frameworks, social-ecological resilience thinking explicitly includes the perspective of complex adaptive systems. However, there is still a lack of knowledge of what this perspective means in practice when it comes to interventions aimed at assessing or building resilience, and there is a demand for practical guidance on how to address complexity. With a growing experience of resilience practice from different parts of the world there is now an opportunity to synthesize lessons across cases. In this study, we assessed twelve cases for how they engaged with complexity, according to a framework of six features of complex adaptive systems. The cases are situated in a diversity of contexts, such as rural villages in Tajikistan, a Swedish municipality, Australian catchment management authorities, a Canadian coastal fishery, and the Arctic council. We organized the cases of resilience practice into three types of approaches: 1) Assessment of theory-based resilience frameworks, 2) Participatory resilience assessment, and 3) Resilience-based planning and operations. Our results reveal alternative key strategies for engaging with complexity in each of these approaches, as well as different key tools and novel situated practices among the cases. The results can help practitioners to orientate their resilience practice, address multiple aspects of complexity, and prioritize strategies depending on their context, purpose, and type of approach. We also highlight two areas of advancing resilience practice methods and approaches: narratives for articulating and guiding desirable change, and an international and transdisciplinary community of practice.

National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160934OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-160934DiVA, id: diva2:1255333
Available from: 2018-10-11 Created: 2018-10-11 Last updated: 2018-10-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Advancing Resilience Practice: Bridging social-ecological resilience theory and sustainable development practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Advancing Resilience Practice: Bridging social-ecological resilience theory and sustainable development practice
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the application of resilience thinking in different real-world settings and research-practice interfaces, for example in the context of natural resource management, local government planning and food systems. The number of cases of resilience practice are growing, including resilience assessments, planning and action, but there are still few scientific studies and even less synthesis across cases. This thesis describes existing cases of resilience practice, in natural resource management in Australia (Paper I) and across different international cases (Paper II), and experiments with new methods and approaches for improving resilience practice, based on pilot projects of co-production in Sweden (Paper III and Paper IV). The results confirm that resilience practice can contribute to the understanding and adaptive governance of complex social-ecological systems, but is weak in addressing the need for transformations, particularly for the sake of the resilience of Earth systems and global sustainability. The results also highlight practical strategies for engaging with complexity and novel approaches to enhance the potential of local-regional resilience practice to align with global sustainability concerns. The thesis as a whole sheds light on the field of resilience practice, by outlining different approaches, contexts and purposes and contributes to building transdisciplinary networks and relationships in multiple arenas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 2018. p. 61
Keywords
Complex adaptive systems, Local and regional planning, Resilience thinking, Social-ecological systems, Transdisciplinarity
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-160935 (URN)978-91-7797-476-5 (ISBN)978-91-7797-477-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-11-29, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20, Stockholm, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2018-11-06 Created: 2018-10-15 Last updated: 2018-10-29Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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