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‘Treating networks seriously’ in conservation management: How a network approach can enhance our understanding of collective action, legitimacy, and adaptive capacity
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The challenges of conservation management originate in ecological as well as social complexities. Social factors like institutional uncertainties, multi-actor settings, competing goals, and conflicts of interest often impede the evolution of legitimate and adaptive management systems. The argument proposed here is that these challenges should be approached through social networks. Based on social science theories and by means of empirical illustrations from fishery and carnivore management, three arguments for a social network approach are suggested. The first emphasizes the descriptive value of a network perspective; it contributes greatly to the process of defining the boundaries of the social system and to the generation of important information regarding the actors and their interactions. The second argument stresses the theoretical contribution of a network approach and rests on findings from previous research on the interplay between different network characteristics and management outcome. The main message is that the structure of a network affects the way it functions. The third argument is based on a managerial perspective and discusses implications for institutional design. The issue of how to design new, or influence existing, management systems to improve their capacity to deal with social challenges is elaborated. To conclude, research on conservation management has much to gain by ‘treating networks seriously.’

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-40123Local ID: f1dd5a98-251d-4e47-9d49-0441dbabeefeOAI: diva2:1013646
International Congress for Conservation Biology : 21/07/2013 - 25/07/2013
Godkänd; 2013; 20131210 (annicas)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03Bibliographically approved

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