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ASU Scholarship Showcase


This growing collection, which contains many open access articles, consists of scholarly works authored by ASU community members. ASU-affiliated authors, who wish to deposit scholarly works, please use the Deposit form to describe your work.


Series
  • ECOLOGY AND SOCIETY
Date Range
2013 2016


Sustainability theory can help achieve desirable social-ecological states by generalizing lessons across contexts and improving the design of sustainability interventions. To accomplish these goals, we argue that theory in sustainability science must (1) explain the emergence and persistence of social-ecological states, (2) account for endogenous cultural change, (3) incorporate cooperation dynamics, and (4) address the complexities of multilevel social-ecological interactions. We suggest that cultural evolutionary theory broadly, and cultural multilevel selection in particular, can improve on these fronts. We outline a multilevel evolutionary framework for describing social-ecological change and detail how multilevel cooperative dynamics can determine outcomes in environmental dilemmas. ...

Contributors
Waring, Timothy M., Kline, Michelle, Brooks, Jeremy S., et al.
Created Date
2014-11-30

Experiments have made important contributions to our understanding of human behavior, including behavior relevant for understanding social-ecological systems. When there is a conflict between individual and group interests in social-ecological systems, social dilemmas occur. From the many types of social-dilemma formulations that are used to study collective action, common-pool resource and public-good dilemmas are most relevant for social-ecological systems. Experimental studies of both common-pool resource and public-good dilemmas have shown that many predictions based on the conventional theory of collective action, which assumes rational, self-interested behavior, do not hold. More cooperation occurs than predicted (Ledyard 1995), “cheap talk” increases cooperation ...

Contributors
Janssen, Marco, Lindahl, Therese, Murphy, James J., et al.
Created Date
2015

Globalization, the process by which local social-ecological systems (SESs) are becoming linked in a global network, presents policy scientists and practitioners with unique and difficult challenges. Although local SESs can be extremely complex, when they become more tightly linked in the global system, complexity increases very rapidly as multi-scale and multi-level processes become more important. Here, we argue that addressing these multi-scale and multi-level challenges requires a collection of theories and models. We suggest that the conceptual domains of sustainability, resilience, and robustness provide a sufficiently rich collection of theories and models, but overlapping definitions and confusion about how these ...

Contributors
Anderies, John, Folke, Carl, Walker, Brian, et al.
Created Date
2013

Recently, an approach for global sustainability, the planetary-boundary approach (PBA), has been proposed, which combines the concept of tipping points with global-scale sustainability indicators. The PBA could represent a significant step forward in monitoring and managing known and suspected global sustainability criteria. However, as the authors of the PBA describe, the approach faces numerous and fundamental challenges that must be addressed, including successful identification of key global sustainability metrics and their tipping points, as well as the coordination of systemic individual and institutional actions that are required to address the sustainability challenges highlighted. We apply a previously published framework for ...

Contributors
Robert, Karl-Henrik, Broman, Goran I., Basile, George, et al.
Created Date
2013

Many recent studies observe the increasing importance, influence, and analysis of resilience as a concept to understand the capacity of a system or individual to respond to change. The term has achieved prominence in diverse scientific fields, as well as public discourse and policy arenas. As a result, resilience has been referred to as a boundary object or a bridging concept that is able to facilitate communication and understanding across disciplines, coordinate groups of actors or stakeholders, and build consensus around particular policy issues. We present a network analysis of bibliometric data to understand the extent to which resilience can ...

Contributors
Baggio, Jacopo, Brown, Katrina, Hellebrandt, Denis, et al.
Created Date
2015

Climate change and its interactions with complex socioeconomic dynamics dictate the need for decision makers to move from incremental adaptation toward transformation as societies try to cope with unprecedented and uncertain change. Developing pathways toward transformation is especially difficult in regions with multiple contested resource uses and rights, with diverse decision makers and rules, and where high uncertainty is generated by differences in stakeholders’ values, understanding of climate change, and ways of adapting. Such a region is the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia, from which we provide insights for developing a process to address these constraints. We present criteria for sequencing actions ...

Contributors
Abel, Nick, Wise, Russell M., Colloff, Matthew J., et al.
Created Date
2016

The International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network comprises > 600 scientific groups conducting site-based research within 40 countries. Its mission includes improving the understanding of global ecosystems and informs solutions to current and future environmental problems at the global scales. The ILTER network covers a wide range of social-ecological conditions and is aligned with the Programme on Ecosystem Change and Society (PECS) goals and approach. Our aim is to examine and develop the conceptual basis for proposed collaboration between ILTER and PECS. We describe how a coordinated effort of several contrasting LTER site-based research groups contributes to the understanding of ...

Contributors
Maass, Manuel, Balvanera, Patricia, Bourgeron, Patrick, et al.
Created Date
2016

Norwegian protected areas have historically been managed by central, expertise bureaucracy; however, a governance change in 2010 decentralized and delegated the right to manage protected areas to locally elected politicians and elected Sámi representatives in newly established National Park Boards. We explore how this new governance change affects adaptive capacity within the reindeer industry, as the reindeer herders are now participating with other users in decision-making processes related to large tracts of protected areas in which they have pasture access. Aspects within adaptive capacity and resilience thinking are useful as complementary dimensions to a social-ecological system framework (Ostrom 2007) in ...

Contributors
Risvoll, Camilla, Fedreheim, Gunn Elin, Sandberg, Audun, et al.
Created Date
2014

Social-ecological organization is a multidimensional phenomenon that combines material and symbolic processes. However, the coupling between social and ecological subsystem is often conceptualized as purely material, thus reducing the symbolic dimension to its behavioral and actionable expressions. In this paper I conceptualize social-ecological systems as doubly coupled. On the one hand, material expressions of socio-cultural processes affect and are affected by ecological dynamics. On the other hand, coupled social-ecological material dynamics are concurrently coupled with subjective dynamics via coding, decoding, personal experience, and human agency. This second coupling operates across two organizationally heterogeneous dimensions: material and symbolic. Although resilience thinking ...

Contributors
Manuel-Navarrete, David, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, School of Sustainability
Created Date
2015

Recent studies provide compelling evidence for the idea that creative thinking draws upon two kinds of processes linked to distinct physiological features, and stimulated under different conditions. In short, the fast system-I produces intuition whereas the slow and deliberate system-II produces reasoning. System-I can help see novel solutions and associations instantaneously, but is prone to error. System-II has other biases, but can help checking and modifying the system-I results. Although thinking is the core business of science, the accepted ways of doing our work focus almost entirely on facilitating system-II. We discuss the role of system-I thinking in past scientific ...

Contributors
Scheffer, Marten, Bascompte, Jordi, Bjordam, Tone K., et al.
Created Date
2015