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Network Structure, Diversity, and Proactive Resilience Building: a Response to Tompkins and Adger

Lenore Newman, Postdoctoral Scholar, Royal Roads University
Ann Dale, Professor, Science, Technology and Environment Division, Royal Roads University

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Abstract

Although community social networks can build resilience, and thus, aid adaptation to unexpected environmental change (Tomkins and Adger 2004), not all social networks are created equal. Networks composed of a diversity of “bridging” links to a diverse web of resources and “bonding” links that build trust strengthen a community’s ability to adapt to change, but networks composed only of “bonding” links can impose constraining social norms and foster group homophily, reducing resilience. Diversity fosters the resilience needed to adapt to unexpected change, and can also enlarge the ability to proactively make collective decisions that optimize future options.

Key words

precautionary principle; resilience; social capital; sustainable development
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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087