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Global Environmental CommonsAnalytical and Political Challenges in Building Governance Mechanisms$
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Eric Brousseau, Tom Dedeurwaerdere, Pierre-André Jouvet, and Marc Willinger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199656202

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199656202.001.0001

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Navigating the Sustainability Transition: Governing Complex and Dynamic Socio-ecological Systems

Navigating the Sustainability Transition: Governing Complex and Dynamic Socio-ecological Systems

Chapter:
(p.80) 4 Navigating the Sustainability Transition: Governing Complex and Dynamic Socio-ecological Systems
Source:
Global Environmental Commons
Author(s):

Oran R. Young

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199656202.003.0004

The thesis of this chapter is that reliance on management tools that assume change will be linear and gradual in the effort to manage complex and dynamic socioecological systems is a liability that is already costly and that is likely to produce profoundly undesirable consequences in the future. In developing this thesis, the chapter starts with a brief account of the nature of change in socioecological systems, explores management tools suitable for use in settings characterized by nonlinear, rapid, and irreversible change, and considers the implications of the fact that environmental regimes are complex and dynamic systems themselves. The concluding section formulates a set of principles that will help to (re)form environmental regimes that can produce sustainable outcomes in a world in which change is often nonlinear, abrupt, and irreversible.

Keywords:   change, institution, irreversibility, nonlinearity, regime, socioecological system, sustainability transition

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