Institutional fit is operationalized by transferring transaction costs economics (TCE) to the analysis of instances of social-ecological interdependence. We carefully spell out the differences with conventional TCE and outline analytical steps based on discriminating alignment that enable a TCE analysis of environmental governance of “nature-related transactions”. We illustrate the approach through the example of wildlife management in Germany. Here we find hierarchical governance (a prohibition) of killing of wolves embedded into a polycentric hybrid monitoring arrangement. In applying TCE to nature-related transactions, we argue that characteristics of nature-related transactions can be subsumed under the core categories of jointness, uncertainty, asset specificity, frequency, rivalry, excludability and social-relational distance. Benefits of this approach include its generating a narrow list of descriptors of instances of biophysically mediated interdependence related to one evaluation criterion: cost-effectiveness. The TCE of nature-related transactions thus identifies sets of stylized contextual factors and aspects related to the governance of hazards of ex-post opportunistic behavior that cut across scales. They can be used as composite descriptors that facilitate analysis of complex multi-scalar arrangements of natural resource governance. We propose the concept of ‘governance challenge’, derived from TCE, as being useful for building research on environmental governance.
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