Wednesday 7
Social-Ecological Networks – an emerging transdisciplinary approach to study social-ecological systems
Orjan Bodin, Beatrice Crona
› 11:35 - 12:30 (55min)
Building blocks of sustainability: how different patterns of social-ecological interdependencies can explain governance outcomes
Orjan Bodin  1@  , Beatrice Crona  1@  , Matilda Thyresson, Maria Tengö, Anna-Lea Golz@
1 : Stockholm Resilience Centre  (SRC)

The economic, social, and ecological consequences of increasingly complex patterns of interdependences between ecosystems and societies draw a considerable amount of interest among scholars. Much of this research addresses the ‘problem of fit' between complex ecosystems and the institutional context wherein different management and governing processes occur. It is argued that lack of such social-ecological fit makes sustainable governance difficult, yet progress in explicitly defining and rigorously testing what constitute a good fit has been limited. This paper empirically test some of the key ideas proposed within this line of research while simultaneously proposing a refined modeling approach for analyzing the fit in coupled social-ecological systems. Using two contrasting case studies we use our model to test hypotheses formulated as presumed relationships between governance outcomes and different patterns of social-ecological interdependencies. Our results suggest that when ecological resources are shared among a multitude of actors, frequently reoccurring local-level patterns of actor interactions significantly improve the governance of natural resources at the systems level. Furthermore, sustainable governance also seems to be significantly associated with tightened feedback loops where the scale of individual actors' resource interdependencies and the scale of resource-to-resource interdependencies are well aligned. We also use the modeling approach to explore issues of resource substitutability and incentives for sustainable governance, and finally demonstrate how an analysis of which actors occupy specific positions in the complex web of social-ecological interdependences can help explain why a certain system experience a certain level of social-ecological fit.

This talk is part of the session "Social-Ecological Networks – an emerging transdisciplinary approach to study social-ecological systems"

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