From the Habit of Control to Institutional Enablement: Re-envisioning the Governance of Social-Ecological Systems from the Perspective of Complexity Sciences

Asim Zia, Stuart Kauffman, Christopher Koliba, Brian Beckage, Gabor Vattay, Arne Bomblies

Abstract


Due to the inherent uncertainty in predicting the evolution of phase-spaces in social-ecological systems (SESs), these systems cannot be “optimally” managed through top-down, command and control type of governance designs. Instead, generalized autocatalytic set theory, a type of network and complexity theory with foundations in mathematical graph theory, may be used as a bottom-up, emergent and co-evolutionary framework to design the governance regimes of SESs. Under this theoretical re-conceptualization, the policy and institutional interventions can at best “enable” the policy-makers to nudge SESs towards socially desirable yet ecologically feasible phase-spaces, which in turn are continually revamped as new elements in phase-spaces emerge.

Keywords


Autocatalytic Sets; Adjacent Possible; Phase-Spaces; Co-evolution; Governance Design; Policy Regimes; Global Governance.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7564/14-CGN4

Copyright (c) 2014 Asim Zia, Stuart Kauffman, Christopher Koliba, Brian Beckage, Gabor Vattay, Arne Bomblies

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