Phone: 8-674 7809



Profile summary

  • Philosophical foundations of social-ecological systems (SES) research
  • Causation in social-ecological systems
  • Transdisciplinary approaches for the study of SES
  • Complexity-aware theories of change

Tilman Hertz' research explores different philosophical groundings for complex adaptive systems and examines implications for knowledge generation and governance of social-ecological systems.

Hertz’ research focuses on understanding how different philosophical perspectives enhance or limit our ability to make sense of complex adaptive systems (CAS) such as social-ecological systems (SES). As methods and approaches aimed at understanding and subsequently managing and governing SES are shaped by implicit philosophical commitments this issue has a direct practical relevance. Hertz is particularly interested in process-relational philosophical perspectives and their ability to account for key properties of SES such as emergence, novelty and continuous change. He is also interested in the analysis of causation in SES and in the development of complexity-aware theories of change.

Hertz is currently involved in a variety of different projects and cases, most recently in a FORMAS funded project which applies the process-relational notion of “assemblage” to the vulnerability of a multifunctional landscape to climate change in France. See project website here.

Hertz has studied Economic Sciences and Philosophy in Scotland and France and obtained his Doctoral Degree in Economic Sciences from the University of Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence, which was supervised by Professor Alan Kirman focusing on common pool resources and evolutionary game theory.

In the framework of a variety of academic assignments he worked with the Department of Resource Economics at Humboldt-University of Berlin where he was a scientific coordinator for the project “Sustainable Hyderabad.”

He has also worked extensively with development cooperation (GIZ - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH) in Indonesia and India, especially in the area of adaptation to climate change. In the framework of these assignments, he was particularly interested in how to integrate resilience thinking into vulnerability analyses to climate change.

Hertz is a member of IUCNs (International Union for Conservation of Nature) CEM (Commission of Ecosystem Services) thematic group on Ecosystem Management.

Content facts...


Publications by Hertz, Tilman