Robustness of Social-Ecological Systems to Spatial and Temporal Variability

Society and Natural Resources, Vol. 20, pp. 307-322, 2007

16 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2007

See all articles by Marco A. Janssen

Marco A. Janssen

Arizona State University (ASU)

John M. Anderies

Arizona State University (ASU)

Elinor Ostrom

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA); Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Political Science

Abstract

Some social-ecological systems (SESs) have persisted for hundreds of years, remaining in particular configurations that have withstood a variety of natural and social disturbances. Many of these long-lived SESs have adapted their institutions to the particular pattern of variability they have experienced over time as well as to the broader economic, political, and social system in which they are located. Such adaptations alter resource use patterns in time and=or space to maintain the configuration of the SESs. Even well-adapted SESs, however, can become vulnerable to new types of disturbances. Through the analysis of a series of case studies, we begin to characterize different types of adaptations to particular types of variability and explore vulnerabilities that may emerge as a result of this adaptive process. Understanding such vulnerabilities may be critical if our interest is to contribute to the future adaptations of SESs as the more rapid processes of globalization unfold.

Keywords: disturbances, institutions, resilience, robustness, social-ecological system, variability

Suggested Citation

Janssen, Marco A. and Anderies, John M. and Ostrom, Elinor, Robustness of Social-Ecological Systems to Spatial and Temporal Variability. Society and Natural Resources, Vol. 20, pp. 307-322, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=999423

Marco A. Janssen

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

John M. Anderies

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

Farmer Building 440G PO Box 872011
Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Elinor Ostrom (Contact Author)

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Indiana University Bloomington - Department of Political Science

Bloomington, IN
United States

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