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Explanations that account for complex causation, emergence, and social-ecological interdependence are necessary for building theories of social-ecological phenomena. Social-ecological systems (SES) research has accumulated rich empirical understanding of SES; however, integration of this knowledge toward contextualized generalizations, or middle-range theories, remains challenging. We discuss the potential of an iterative and collaborative process that combines generalizing from case studies with agent-based modelling as an abductive methodology to successively build and test explanations rooted in complexity thinking. Collaboration between empirical researchers, theoreticians, practitioners, and modellers is imperative to accommodate this process, which can be seen as a first step toward building middle-range theories.
Research news | 2020-02-21
Despite rapid urban growth, agriculture in a wetland area in the south of Mexico City soldiers on, more than a millennium after its birth
Research news | 2020-02-19
Malin Falkenmark calls for a shift towards a water based biosphere stewardship. The alternative, she warns, could be catastrophic
Research news | 2020-02-17
Trying to reach the goals under current business-as-usual will come at a heavy price on the planetary boundaries
Research news | 2020-02-14
The new "Our Future On Earth" report provides risks analysis based on survey of 222 global sustainability experts, including centre researchers
Research news | 2020-02-13
New assessment aims to fill critical gaps in understanding the growing role aquatic foods play in the global food system
Research news | 2020-02-09
A new study harmonizes the water planetary boundary with local boundaries for the La Cienega wetlands in Colombia