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Tracing Drivers of Global Environmental Change along the Governance Scale: Methodological Challenges and Possibilities

Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia I. 2013. Tracing Drivers of Global Environmental Change along the Governance Scale: Methodological Challenges and Possibilities. F. J. G. Padt, P. F. M. Opdam, N. B. P. Polman and C. J. A. M. Termeer (eds.). Scale-Sensitive Governance of the Environment, 122-139. Chapter 8. Oxford, John Wiley & Sons


Institutional drivers from local, national, regional and global levels, in combination, influence individual and collective decisions and behaviours that lead to environmental change. This multilevel dynamic raises the need to explicitly include the multilevel dimension in any analysis that aims to identify and trace drivers of global environmental change and provide input in discussions on the level at which governance responses are needed. This chapter outlines a methodological approach for tracing and analysing drivers across levels of governance illustrated through a multilevel case study. It explores some of the methodological challenges faced during a multilevel analysis. This is followed by an illustration of possible approaches to address these challenges by outlining a specific case: the drivers that resulted in the negative impact of agricultural pesticide use in developing countries. This case enables a concluding discussion on the methodological possibilities for tracing and understanding drivers in multilevel studies.

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