Finding sustainability: Advancing multiple methods to apply the social-ecological systems framework

  • The social-ecological systems framework (SESF) was proposed by Elinor Ostrom in 2007 as a diagnostic tool to examine what influences collective action in the commons by identifying the social and ecological variables which interact and shape sustainability outcomes. Many have since cited the framework as a useful conceptual tool. However, substantially less literature has applied the framework empirically or examined the methodological challenges for using the framework. Rigorous exploration and analysis of the different methods and challenges for applying the framework and its conceptual development are largely absent in the literature, but are needed to guide future progress. I argue that a primary barrier for future research using the framework is a lack of knowledge on different methods and challenges for applying it. This thesis is a compilation of eight research articles building this knowledge. I explore different concepts and methods to continue building a research program with the SESF. The thesis is split into four parts. In Part 1: Introduction, I provide an overview of commons scholarship, and argue that the development of new interdisciplinary methodologies have been an essential feature of past progress and thus need to be an integral feature the SESF’s progress. In Part 2: Context and Concepts, I present a review article on the field of tropical marine science, to situate the context of this thesis. Two articles then explore conceptual development of the SESF, linking the framework to the closely associated concepts of ecosystem services and sustainability science. In Part 3: Empirical Research, the core of this thesis is presented. Each of the four articles applies the SESF in a different way in three small-scale fisheries cases and one pond aquaculture case. Finally, in Part 4: Synthesis and Conclusions, I provide an article which reviews all the existing literature applying the SESF to orient the contributions of this thesis.

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Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Stefan Partelow
Referee:Marco Verweij, Henrik von Wehrden, Xavier Basurto
Advisor:Achim Schlüter
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:gbv:579-opus-1008112
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2018/05/07
Date of First Publication:2018/06/29
Academic Department:Social Sciences & Humanities
PhD Degree:Political Science
Focus Area:Diversity
Other Countries Involved:United States of America
Other Organisations Involved:Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT)
Call No:2018/13

$Rev: 13581 $