Conditions for general resilience
- Variable relationship:
Carpenter et al. (2012) outline the key conditions or principles associated with general resilience to extreme events (Diversity; Modularity; Openness; Reserves; Feedbacks; Nestedness; Monitoring; Leadership; Trust). General resilience is "the capacity of social-ecological systems to adapt or transform in response to unfamiliar, unexpected or extreme shocks" (Carpenter et al. 2012: 3249). Such shocks are often outside the scope of recent experience. We use these principles to specify a theory of Conditions for general resilience, as follows:
Diversity increases the chances that components of a SES with similar functions have different responses to disturbance so that underlying function is preserved. Carpenter et al (2012) argue that social diversity (Cultural Heterogeneity and Interest Heterogeneity) promotes problem solving (Actor Adaptive Capacity) which allows actors to adapt their behaviors to enhance resilience (Ecological Resilience) and maintain the existing system configuration (Basin Switch).
Another dimension of Diversity is outlined by Holling and Meffe (1996) who highlight that conventional forms of management that aim for a narrow set of objectives (Low Metric Diversity) typically related to production or efficiency rather than diversity can inadvertently lead to a loss of functional response diversity (Biodiversity) in the ecosystem underpinning SES (Ecological Resilience and Basin Switch).
Modularity and Openness refer to two scales of connectivity. Modularity relates to connectivity within the SES (Internal Ecological Connectivity). Openness refers to connectivity between the SES and other SES (External Ecological Connectivity). Connectivity and modularity are essentially opposites. Connectivity can enhance resilience by facilitating recovery and renewal in systems, for instance through connections between habitats. Over-connectivity can, however, mean that disturbance events cascade rapidly through a system causing system collapse. Some degree of modularity to "contain disturbances by compartmentalizing social-ecological systems" is beneficial for resilience.
Reserves "of organisms, knowledge or skills" contribute to recovery from disturbance (Carpenter et al. 2012). Reserves represent the ecological (Actor Scientific Knowledge) and social memory (Actor Traditional Knowledge) that promotes recovery, adaptation (Actor Adaptative Capacity) and resilience (Ecological Resilience) to maintain the existing system configuration (Basin Switch).
Feedbacks between the social and ecological sub-systems, such as clear consequences for decisions, (Commons Feedback Speed Use; Commons Feedback Speed Visibility) are integral to the success of adaptively managing (Actor Adaptive Capacity) for resilience (Ecological Resilience) to maintain the existing system configuration (Basin Switch).
Nestedness of SES is described by Carpenter et al. (2012) as "multiple management systems (Co-ordinated Multi-level Governance; Institutional Diversity) scaled appropriately for the problems they are aiming to solve (Nestedness governance theory)".
Monitoring (Environmental Monitoring) provides transparent and relevant information about the status and trends of SES (Commons Condition Trend). Monitoring can bolster social memory and feedbacks, and provide early warning signals of approaching thresholds or imminent disturbance events.
Key individuals (Leadership; Leadership Accountability; Leadership Authority) develop shared visions, build trust (Actor Group Trust) and connect social networks to guide governance trajectories. In addition, trust built through repeated interactions among people (Past Collaboration) can protect against incentives to cheat or co-opt agreements and actions. Both Leadership and Trust are, together, are associated with co-operation, self-organisation and adaptation (Collective Action; Actor Adaptive Capacity) (Carpenter et al. 2012).
- Scientific Field
- Component Type(s)
|Environmental monitoring||Underlying independent variable||Regular, transparent and shared measurement of the system foster social memory and rapid feedbacks, thereby contributing the actor adaptive capacity||Moderate or High|
|Commons feedback visibility use||Underlying independent variable||Indicates close and visible feedbacks between the social and ecological system, which contributes to actor adaptive capacity||Medium or High|
|Commons feedback speed use||Underlying independent variable||Indicates close feedbacks between the social and ecological system, which contributes to actor adaptive capacity||Medium or High|
|Interest heterogeneity||Underlying independent variable||Social diversity, represented by the interaction between cultural and interest heterogeneity can promote problem solving and innovation, and thereby contribute to actor adaptive capacity||High|
|Cultural heterogeneity||Underlying independent variable||Social diversity, represented by the interaction between cultural and interest heterogeneity, can promote problem solving and innovation, and thereby contribute to actor adaptive capacity.||High|
|Actor group trust||Underlying independent variable||Capacity to build trust to mobilise support of alternative solutions and trajectories is identified as a key attribute of collective action and actor adaptive capacity||Moderate or High|
|Institutional diversity||Underlying independent variable||Institutional diversity and redundancy contributes to the adaptive capacity of the actors and their governance system.||Medium or High|
|Past collaboration||Underlying independent variable||Carpenter refer to the development of trust in repeated interactions contributing to collective action and actor adaptive capacity.||Moderate or High|
|External Ecological Connectivity||Underlying independent variable||External connectivity between a focal SES and an external SES enhances ecological resilience by facilitating recovery and renewal in the focal system, for example where (desired, non-invasive) organisms migrate in after an impact. Modularity to "contain disturbances by compartmentalizing social-ecological systems" is also beneficial for ecological resilience to reduce the impacts of external events. Hence moderate levels of external ecological connectivity should promote ecological resilience.||Moderate|
|Internal Ecological Connectivity||Underlying independent variable||Internal connectivity enhances ecological resilience by facilitating recovery and renewal in sub-systems. Modularity to "contain disturbances by compartmentalizing social-ecological systems" is also beneficial for ecological resilience. Hence moderate levels of internal ecological connectivity should promote ecological resilience.||Moderate|
|Metric diversity||Underlying independent variable||Governance systems using high metric diversity can better capture complex and cryptic changes within the system and thereby better maintain biodiversity (functional response diversity).||Moderate or High|
|Multiple levels||Underlying independent variable||Co-ordination between multiple levels of governance can render more effective any institutional diversity and redundancy within the system.||Co-ordination among multiple levels|
|Actor traditional knowledge||Underlying independent variable||Signifies social memory and contributes to actor adaptive capacity||Medium or High|
|Actor scientific knowledge||Underlying independent variable||Signifies social memory and contributes to actor adaptive capacity||Medium or High|
|Leadership||Underlying independent variable||Both formal and informal leaders can reduce transaction costs and improve co-operation. They can also develop alternative solutions and momentum for change. Thus leadership is a core component of both collective action and actor adaptive capacity||Formal or Informal|
|Collective action||Proximate independent variable||Resilience theory borrows from collective action or CPR theory in suggesting that co-ordinated action among resource users will better preserve the condition of the commons and its resilience to disturbance||Medium or High|
|Biodiversity trend||Proximate independent variable||Governance practices that successfully maintain functional response diversity promote ecological resilience||Remain the same or Improved|
|Actor adaptive capacity||Proximate independent variable||Multiple proximate drivers foster adaptive capacity which enables resource users and managers to respond to uncertainty and perturbation, thereby ultimately maintaining ecological resilience of the system||Medium or High|
|Leadership authority||Moderating independent variable||The autonomy and authority of leaders enables them to develop visions, build networks and mobilise actor. Leadership authority is thus a core component of both collective action and actor adaptive capacity.||Moderate or High|
|Leadership accountability||Moderating independent variable||Leadership is not always a positive force for change . The accountability of leaders reduces the incentive to rent seek and increases the probability that leaders work towards a greater good and longer term outcomes. Thus accountable leadership is a core component of both collective action and actor adaptive capacity.||Moderate or High|
|Transaction costs||Moderating independent variable||Resilience theory does not explicitly discuss transaction costs. However, implicitly resilience theory suggests that in times of change and disturbance strong, charismatic and decisive leadership is more effective at enhancing and mobilising the adaptive capacity of actors within the system. More deliberative or democratic forms of leadership (where transactions costs are higher) are not necessarily always appropriate for responding to perturbation. Low transaction costs can improve collective action and actor adaptive capacity.||Low|
|Ecological resilience||Intermediate outcome||Higher levels of collective action and actor adaptive capacity increases the potential of resource users' and managers to respond to uncertainty and perturbation. Combined with moderate levels of internal and external ecological connectivity actor adaptive capacity and collective action maintain or enhance the ecological resilience of the system.||Moderate to Highly Resilient|
|Commons condition trend||Intermediate outcome||Higher levels of collective action and actor adaptive capacity among resource users and managers can improve outcomes for commons condition. In some systems under certain conditions the commons condition trend will reflect the ecological resilience of the system.||Remained the same or improved|
|Basin switch||Final outcome||Higher ecological resilience means the defined commons is better able to buffer, recover and adapt to disturbance events, thus remaining in a desirable stable state.||No Desirable|
|Social memory and general resilience||contains|
|Metric diversity, biodiversity loss and resilience||contains|
|Feedbacks and general resilience||contains|
|Social diversity and general resilience||contains|
|Past collaboration and social capital||contains|