Bridging organisations
Lecture for Module 10, Adaptive Governance
2013-02-20
Thomas Hahn
thomas.hahn@stockholmresilience.s...
Outline
1. SES – the context of bridging organisations
2. Individuals or organisations?
3. Limitations of Adaptive Governa...
A Social-Ecological System (Hahn et al. 2006 HumEcol)
Social norms
and rules
Management:
actors, organizations
Ecosystem p...
Social-ecological systems (SES)
Three core features:
1. society and nature represent truly interdependent social-
ecologic...
Search on Scopus for ”adaptive governance” AND ecosystems (2011)
1 Adaptive governance of social-ecological systems
Folke,...
The context of bridging organisations
• Adaptive governance of coupled social and ecological systems is
about connecting a...
The context of bridging organisations
• Bridging organizations, or individuals performing these functions, are
crucial for...
Fig. 1. The governance network of Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve. The
nodes are agencies/organizations, except...
Kristianstad Wetlands – UNESCO
Man and Biosphere Reserve Sept 2005
Bridging organizations
•Performing essential functions in
crafting effective responses to
change in social-ecological
syst...
Focus on understanding changes
(transformations/transitions)
• Role of social learning to overcome the tyranny of fixed
pr...
Adaptive Governance of Social-
Ecological Systems (AGSES)
“adaptive governance emphasises flexibility, experimentation, an...
“Can you address power issues
using systems ecology?”
• No! Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) and other systems
approaches en...
Stakeholders have intentions
• In the resilience theory literature, 30% of the
papers on ”adaptability” see people as agen...
Resilience and political ecology
• Some of the research on resilience of SES is
compatible to Political ecology in the sen...
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Hahn ad gov 20feb2013

  1. 1. Bridging organisations Lecture for Module 10, Adaptive Governance 2013-02-20 Thomas Hahn thomas.hahn@stockholmresilience.su.se 1
  2. 2. Outline 1. SES – the context of bridging organisations 2. Individuals or organisations? 3. Limitations of Adaptive Governance and collaboration within bridging organisations 4. Do we study systems or agents with intentions? 5. Resilience and political ecology
  3. 3. A Social-Ecological System (Hahn et al. 2006 HumEcol) Social norms and rules Management: actors, organizations Ecosystem processes + services Know- ledge systems External drivers, change and surprise The capacity to generate valuable ecosystem services depends on ecosystem processes as well as the organizational and institutional capacity to govern people, manage ecosystems and handling surprises. Capacity for dealing with governmental policies, social unrest, global market demands, climate change etc. Flexible institutions, adaptive governance Multilevel governance, legal and financial support Adaptive management Knowledge generation Adaptive management
  4. 4. Social-ecological systems (SES) Three core features: 1. society and nature represent truly interdependent social- ecological systems (SES); 2. social-ecological systems are complex adaptive systems; 3. cross scale and dynamic interactions represent new challenges for governance and management in relation to interdependent SES and ecosystem services. These three core features provide a broad research direction, and will continue to serve as a significant attractor that allows for emergence of diverse approaches from different disciplines within a common framing. The content and direction of the framing is a central identity of the SRC that distinguishes SRC research from multidisciplinary collaborations in sustainability science. (Stockholm Resilience Centre, Action Plan 2010-2013)
  5. 5. Search on Scopus for ”adaptive governance” AND ecosystems (2011) 1 Adaptive governance of social-ecological systems Folke, C., Hahn, T., Olsson, P., Norberg, J. 2005 Annual Review of Environment and Resources 30, pp. 441-473 300 2 Resilience: The emergence of a perspective for social-ecological systems analyses Folke, C. 2006 Global Environmental Change 16 (3), pp. 253-267 228 3 Social-ecological transformation for ecosystem management: The development of adaptive co-management of a wetland landscape in southern Sweden Olsson, P., Folke, C., Hahn, T. 2004 Ecology and Society 9 (4) 91 4 Shooting the rapids: Navigating transitions to adaptive governance of social-ecological systems Olsson, P., Gunderson, L.H., Carpenter, S.R., Ryan, P., Lebel, L., Folke, C., Holling, C.S. 2006 Ecology and Society 11 (1), art. no. 18 76 5 Scenarios for ecosystem services: An overview Carpenter, S.R., Bennett, E.M., Peterson, G.D. 2006 Ecology and Society 11 (1), art. no. 29 31 6 Enhancing the fit through adaptive co-management: Creating and maintaining bridging functions for matching scales in the Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve, Sweden Olsson, P., Folke, C., Galaz, V., Hahn, T., Schultz, L. 2007 Ecology and Society 12 (1), art. no. 28 28
  6. 6. The context of bridging organisations • Adaptive governance of coupled social and ecological systems is about connecting actors and organisations at multiple organizational levels to enable an ecosystem-based management. These actors are connected in social networks and provide leadership, trust, vision, meaning, and they help transform management organizations toward a learning environment (Folke et al. 2005). • Organizations that link diverse actors or groups through some form of strategic bridging process are called “bridging organizations (Crona & Parker 2012). • As an integral part of adaptive ecosystem governance, bridging organizations provide social incentives to individuals within stakeholder groups by rewarding and creating space for collaboration, value formation, and innovation (Hahn et al. 2006). • Accomplishments by informal networking can be institutionalized in land-use plans and other regulations
  7. 7. The context of bridging organisations • Bridging organizations, or individuals performing these functions, are crucial for successful governance, i.e. collaboration between agencies and NGOs (Berkes 2009). • Adaptive governance coordinates different types of networks. The governance network typically includes national NGOs and civil servants who can provide and mobilise institutional, financial and political support as well as external knowledge. Local steward networks typically include landowners and local NGOs and civil servants concerned with the actual management (Schultz et al. 2007; Hahn 2011). • The challenges of “legitimacy” and “accountability” are often treated as similar in international governance while in local governance they are obviously different. Informal self-organized governance networks may increase legitimacy if a variety of stakeholders are involved, but at the same time accountability becomes blurred when decisions are taken. • Question: is there a risk that self-organized governance networks “take over” responsibility from the representative democracy?
  8. 8. Fig. 1. The governance network of Kristianstads Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve. The nodes are agencies/organizations, except in five cases (noted by names) in which the nodes could be described as individuals who created their own mandates within their respective organizations. (Hahn 2011, E&S) Individuals or organisations?
  9. 9. Kristianstad Wetlands – UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve Sept 2005
  10. 10. Bridging organizations •Performing essential functions in crafting effective responses to change in social-ecological systems •Linking groups, networks and organizations across levels, creating the right links, at the right time, around the right issues •Accessing and combining multiple sources of knowledge and interests •Enhancing vertical and horizontal integration and social learning Bridging organization Folke et al. 2005, Hahn et al. 2006, Olsson et al. 2007
  11. 11. Focus on understanding changes (transformations/transitions) • Role of social learning to overcome the tyranny of fixed preferences and vested interests (“learning leadership”) Besides this focus on leadership and learning, the researcher also needs to analyse power: • Any stakeholder benefitting from the status quo (of sub- optimal ecosystem management) and powerful enough to impede social learning processes? • Is collaboration viable, is it possible to attract any key person within this stakeholder group to a new vision? If not, then Adaptive co-management (ACM) or Adaptive Governance of SES (AGSES) are not suitable frameworks for analysis.
  12. 12. Adaptive Governance of Social- Ecological Systems (AGSES) “adaptive governance emphasises flexibility, experimentation, and learning as strategies for anticipating and dealing with unintended consequences. Such governance approaches are thus deemed appropriate to situations of rapid change and high uncertainty. Nevertheless, they tend to assume that there are shared goals around what system properties should remain resilient, or that consensus can be built through the governance process.” (Leach, M, 2008, p 1791.) • This critique misses the point: AGSES case studies don’t assume but document HOW shared goals and (sufficient) consensus have been accomplished. • Still, Leach has a point: AGSES is not a good (normative or analytical) framework for all case studies. Instead: Trade-off analysis and Multicriteria analysis focusing more on power as obstacles to change (e.g. Kate Brown 2001 Ecol. Econ. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921800900002937 )
  13. 13. “Can you address power issues using systems ecology?” • No! Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) and other systems approaches enable analysis of anticipated vulnerability related to thresholds, tipping points, and regime shifts. Purpose = understand ecological feedbacks. • However, adaptations are crafted by people with intentions who organise and exert their power in conflict with other interests. Understanding actual adaptations and adaptive capacity means acknowledging that power issues are part of the dynamics in a SES. (Nykvist & Hahn forthcoming)
  14. 14. Stakeholders have intentions • In the resilience theory literature, 30% of the papers on ”adaptability” see people as agents with intentions, strategies, and hence allow for power analysis. 50% see people as part of ”social systems” interacting with ecosystems, focus on understanding ecological + system feedbacks. • The “problem” with systems ecology is not the use of self-organization in relation to scales or levels, e.g. that responses can emerge through leadership and stakeholder interaction at a local level without being forced by external factors. The problem is when such interaction is regarded as autonomous.
  15. 15. Resilience and political ecology • Some of the research on resilience of SES is compatible to Political ecology in the sense that power issues are (or can be) addressed. • The use of political ecology in resilience research is increasing as the number of social scientists in this field is growing. • However, the starting point in resilience research is understanding how to govern and manage ecosystem services sustainably. Then power issues are only instrumental, not the analytical focus.
  16. 16. Thanks! Subscribe to our newsletter www.stockholmresilience.org/subscribe
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