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Works of doubt and leaps of faith: An Augustinian challenge to Planetary Boundaries
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. Stockholm University, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Skolan för arkitektur och samhällsbyggnad, Institutionen för filosofi och teknikhistoria .
2012 (English)In: Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, ISSN 1749-4907, E-ISSN 1749-4915, Vol. 6, no 2, 151-175 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the role held by researchers as providers of science based advice in emerging forms of global environmental politics. The field ‘resilience thinking’ pioneered propositions about the critical role of local, traditional and indigenous knowledge to understand and manage human-nature relations. Recently there have been attempts to address sustainability beyond the local. However, the most significant attempt at a leap to the planetary scale again rendered the diversity of knowledge traditions invisible by devising an epistemic space that only took into account experimental scientific knowledge. Using insights from the scientist Dr. Augustine in Avatar, it is possible to discuss historical and current authority claims in local and planetary science-policy. While there is need to discuss resilience beyond the ‘local’, doing so needs to address moral and epistemological aspects of knowledge and politics that cohere with current understandings of the world as living and complex.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 6, no 2, 151-175 p.
Keyword [en]
Avatar, TEK, cross-scale, environmental politics, scientific advice
National Category
Ecology
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62432OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-62432DiVA: diva2:441806
Available from: 2011-09-21 Created: 2011-09-19 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Rowing social-ecological systems: morals, culture and resilience
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Rowing social-ecological systems: morals, culture and resilience
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The shift from management and governance of ecosystems to relational complex adaptive social-ecological systems (SES) emphasizes a dynamic and integrated humans-in-nature perspective. Such a shift also needs to investigate how diversity and differences in cultures and morals relate to the existence of SES. The papers of this thesis relate these dimensions to SES resilience theory. Paper I analyzes cultural and landscape ecological aspects of trees and tree planting in Androy, Madagascar. Culturally, planting trees serves as a symbol of renewal, purification, agreement and boundary-making. Ecologically, planting trees contributes to the generation of ecosystem services in an otherwise fragmented landscape. Paper II tests the role of forest patches for generating pollination services to local beans that constitute an important protein staple in Androy. The results indicate a significant effect of insect pollination on bean yields and a strong spatial pattern of locating bean plots closer to forests than expected by chance, improving rural food security. Paper III addresses the adaptive capacity of the indigenous forest management in Androy with regard to religious and climatic drivers of change. Paper IV is concerned with cultural analysis of the robustness of provisioning ecosystem services in Androy and the interdependence of morality, cultural practices and generated ecosystem services. Paper V explores how social-ecological memory (SEM) can be seen both as a source of inertia and path dependence and a source of adaptive capacity for renewal and reorganization in the emerging theory about social-ecological systems. Paper VI analyses the film Avatar and discusses ethical–epistemic obligations of researchers as cross-scale knowledge brokers in emerging forms of global environmental politics. The thesis has interdependencies between the social and the ecological and shown that cultural and moral analyses bring important insights and challenges to resilience thinking.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University, 2011. 71 p.
Keyword
resilience, culture, moral, complex social-ecological systems, southern Madagascar, Planetary Boundaries
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Natural Resources Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-62422 (URN)978-91-7447-359-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-10-13, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Submitted. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 5: Submitted. Paper 6: In press.

Available from: 2011-09-22 Created: 2011-09-19 Last updated: 2014-09-12Bibliographically approved

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