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Complexity Theory for a Sustainable Future

ISBN-10: 0231134614

ISBN-13: 9780231134613

Edition: 2008

Authors: Jon Norberg, Graeme Cumming

List price: $40.00
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Description:

Complexity theory sheds light on the many interactions between natural and social systems, providing a better understanding of the general principles that can help solve some of today's most pressing environmental issues. Complexity theory relies on key ideas from economics, physics, biology, and the social sciences and contributes to important new concepts for approaching issues of environmental sustainability such as resilience, scaling, and networks. Complexity Theory for a Sustainable Futureis a hands-on treatment of this exciting new body of work and its applications, bridging the gap between theoretical and applied perspectives in the management of complex adaptive systems. Focusing primarily on natural resource management and community-based conservation, the book features contributions by leading authors in the field, many of whom are among the leaders of the Resilience Alliance. These scholars make their ideas accessible by applying them to practical approaches or empirical studies that are linked to social-ecological systems. Many chapters present new twists on such existing approaches as scenario planning, scaling analyses, and adaptive management. One of the book's major emphases is on understanding the conditions required for systems self-organization, since the capacity of any system to self-organize is crucial for its sustainability over time. A vital reference for an emerging discipline, Complexity Theory for a Sustainable Futurewill find a large audience among scientists, scholars, and environmental engineering practitioners across the globe.
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Book details

List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 7/11/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 312
Size: 6.10" wide x 8.98" long x 0.83" tall
Weight: 0.990
Language: English

Jon Norberg is assistant professor of systems ecology at Stockholm University and is affiliated as a researcher with the Stockholm Resilience Center. Coming from a background in ecology, Norberg has become more transdisciplinary, studying the role of social phenomena such as information sharing and trust building for resource management. He completed his post-doc at Princeton University with Simon Levin and has been a long term participant in the resilience alliance.Graeme S. Cumming is Pola Pasvolsky Chair in Conservation Biology at the University of Cape Town. He runs a wide-ranging research program that focuses on the broad-scale spatial and temporal dynamics of ecological communities and ecosystems, with particular interests in conservation, resilience, and sustainability.

Foreword
Simon Levin
Preface
Introduction
Diversity and Heterogeneity
Environmental Asymmetries
Diversity and Resilience of Social-Ecological Systems
Networks
A Network Perspective on Modularity and Control of Flow in Robust Systems
Social Networks as Sources of Resilience in Social-Ecological Systems
Information Processing
Theoretical Challenges: Information Processing and Navigation in Social-Ecological Systems
Regime Shifts, Environmental Signals, Uncertainty, and Policy Choice
Practical Approaches
Participation in Building Scenarios of Regional Development
Practicing Adaptive Management in Complex Social-Ecological Systems
Scale and Complex Systems
Complexity Theory for a Sustainable Future: Conclusions and Outlook
Index