Tuesday 6
Identifying Regional Scale Social Ecological Feedbacks for Adaptive Governance Practice
Michael Quinn, Mary-Ellen Tyler
› 11:35 - 12:30 (55min)
Institutional Logics and Social Regimes: A resilience history of social and ecological change in the Columbia River Basin.
Gregory Hill  2, 1, *@  , Steven Kolmes  1@  , Howard Silverman  3@  
2 : Institute for Culture and Ecology  (IFCAE)  -  Website
PO Box 6688 Portland, Oregon 97228-6688 -  États-Unis
1 : University of Portland  -  Website
5000 N. Willamette Blvd Portland, OR 97203 -  États-Unis
3 : Solving for Pattern  -  Website
* : Corresponding author

As resilience metaphors and methods have gained currency across a range of disciplines, policy domains and practice methodologies, insightful criticisms of the ability of the theory to address issues of power and agency have surfaced. Although social and ecological change are often tightly linked, the dynamics within these two domains are profoundly different, largely due to the reflexive nature of social interactions. While definitions of ecological scales are typically determined by geographical and biophysical considerations, a different approach to scale is needed in the social domain to account for the dynamics of agency and power. Fundamental to resilience theory are the concepts of multiple stable states, cross-level interaction and linkages between social and ecological contexts, but in applying these concepts we argue that the distinctions between social and ecological dynamics need to be emphasized and engaged.


Rather than employing a unified theory of social-ecological systems, we develop and illustrate a common language and set of metaphors to facilitate the description, analysis and communication of cross-level and cross-scale dynamics within and between social and ecological contexts. In particular, we use the theory of institutional logics to develop an approach to social regimes and scale hierarchies analogous to ecological regimes and panarchies, but appropriate to the distinct dynamics of social change. Cross-level dynamics in this social scale are described using social theories of change emphasizing the self-organizing processes of human agency at individual, organizational and societal levels. Stabilization of regimes is described using an approach that integrates systems language, as in the ecological case, but importantly also includes institutional logics, path dependencies, power and politics. We address as well the need to consider standpoint dependence when linking the social and the ecological, as differing social groups will have divergent perspectives on system boundaries, regime definitions, and the accessibility and desirability of alternate regimes. 


We illustrate our methods by analyzing links between social and ecological change processes in the Columbia River Basin. Taking an historical approach, informed by our resilience perspectives, we describe and analyze both adaptive change within, and transformative change between, linked social and ecological regimes. More specifically, we focus on issues related to salmonid species in the Basin, encompassing their economic, social, cultural and ecological roles. By analyzing change at multiple levels across both ecological and social scales, we are able to relate social change at levels from the individual to the societal with ecological change at levels from the watershed to the regional. In the context of the multi-stakeholder process for the recovery of endangered salmonid species, differing perspectives on regimes and change options highlight the need to consider standpoint when describing social-ecological cross-scale dynamics. We propose a perspective that treats the stability landscape as a space for negotiating divergent points of view concerning choices between adaptive or transformative change, and change trajectories.

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