Research on the governance of social-ecological systems often emphasizes the need for self-organized, flexible and adaptive arrangements to deal with uncertainty, abrupt change and surprises that are characteristic of social-ecological systems. However, adaptive governance as well as transitions toward alternative forms of governance are embedded in politics and it is often the political processes that determine change and stability in governance systems and policy. This paper analyses five established theoretical frameworks of the policy process originating in political science and public policy research with respect to their potential to enhance understanding of governance and complex policy dynamics in social-ecological systems. The frameworks are found to be divergent in their conceptualization of policy change (focusing on incremental or large-scale, major changes), highlighting different aspects of bounded rationality in their model of individual behavior and focusing their attention on different aspects of the policy process (role of information, attention, beliefs, institutional structure, particular actors, etc.). We discuss the application of these frameworks and their potential contribution to unravelling the political dimension in adaptive governance and transformations.
Research news | 2018-07-10
The World in 2050 initiative launches new report outlining synergies and benefits that render the goals achievable
Educational news | 2018-07-02
LEAP our leadership programme designed for changemakers that want to lead social-ecological transformations to sustainability. Application deadline is 5 August 2018.
Research news | 2018-06-27
Overfishing, fractured international relationships and political conflicts loom as fish migrate more unpredictably because of climate change. Here is how to deal with it
Research news | 2018-06-26
Profit-maximizing approaches are most likely to produce outcomes that harm people or the environment. But it depends on the circumstances whether a sustainable or a safe approach is most suitable, new study argues
General news | 2018-06-20
Will lead a redesign of the organisational structure at the centre
Research news | 2018-06-20
New book chapter looks into the economic, cultural and ecological reasons why some people leave the fisheries and aquaculture sector, and what could be done to reverse the trend