Published on Jan 23, 2018
Journal: Complexity, Governance & Networks
Guest Editor: Asim Zia (University of Vermont)
Deadline for Paper Submissions: May 1st, 2018
You are invited to submit papers on the theoretical and empirical questions pertaining to adaptive governance of social-ecological systems for a special issue of the journal Complexity, Governance & Networks. Complexity, Governance & Networks is an open-access peer-reviewed journal that is published by the University of Bamberg Press (UBP, Germany). The journal is open access and authors are not charged for publishing papers in the journal.
Please email any questions and paper proposals to the special issue editor Asim Zia at Asim.Zia@uvm.edu.
Papers on the following topics and approaches are particularly welcome for this special issue, but papers on other related topics will also be considered.
Information about the Special Issue Topic: Adaptive Governance of Social- Ecological Systems
Stockholm Resilience Alliance (SRA) defines adaptive governance as an evolving research framework for analyzing the social, institutional, economical, and ecological foundations of multilevel governance modes that are successful in building resilience for the vast challenges posed by multiscale drivers of change, such as global climate change, rapid technological change, terrorism, socio-economic disruptions, and political coups. The social-ecological systems framework is an advanced version of Elinor Ostrom’s (1990, 2005) institutional analysis and development framework. Folk and his colleagues (2005) laid out the theoretical foundations for a deeper study of adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. They argue that adaptive governance systems often self-organize as social networks with teams and actor groups that draw on various knowledge systems and experiences for the development of a common understanding and policies, in particular during periods of abrupt change (crisis) in social-ecological systems. Folk and his colleagues conclude that “the emergence of bridging organizations seem to lower the costs of collaboration and conflict resolution, and enabling legislation and governmental policies can support self-organization while framing creativity for adaptive co-management efforts” (p. 41). In this context, the SRA group laid out two grand challenges for the study of adaptive governance:
Some national and international agencies, such as the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), and a group of scholars are increasingly interested in finding answers to these questions and ask for more applied research on adaptive governance. UNU-IAS considers Gunderson and Holling (2002); Dietz et al. (2003); Folk et al. (2005) and Olsson et al. (2006) as key theoretical contributions to establishing adaptive governance as a research field. Drawing on five case studies from the American West, Brunner and Lynch (2006), , explored how to expedite a transition toward adaptive governance and break the deadlock in natural resource policymaking. Brunner and Lynch argue that adaptive governance integrates various types of knowledge and organizations and it relies on open decision-making processes recognizing multiple interests, community-based initiatives, and an integrative science, in addition to traditional science. Scholz and Stiftel (2005) apply the adaptive governance framework to study water governance issues across multiple spatial and temporal scales.
As theoretical and empirical contributions to understanding adaptive governance are growing in volume under multiple research initiatives, this special issue of Complexity, Governance & Networks will focus on the study of adaptive governance through the parallel theoretical frameworks that have emerged in the fields of public policy, public management and public administration to study collaborative and network governance approaches in the face of complex public policy problems. The broader shift from government to governance and the hollowing out of the government in this age of contracting out public services to third party vendors further necessitates the need to study the evolving and dynamic nature of governance networks from a complex systems perspective (Koliba et al. 2010; Zia et al. 2014).
Read the full announcement here.