Table 3. A summary of characteristics of trap conceptualization and mechanisms in the literature.

Trap characteristics and challenges for synthesis Development literature Resilience literature
Poverty traps interpretation Self-reinforcing mechanisms that cause poverty to persist Maladaptive departures from normal adaptive cycle of system
 
Poverty trap mechanisms 1) capital thresholds
2) dysfunctional institutions, or
3) neighborhood effects
 
A system configuration of low potential, low connectedness, and low resilience that locks a system in a maladaptive state
Rigidity traps No explicit treatment A maladaptive configuration of high potential, high connectedness, and high resilience. A social system where members of an organization and their institutions become highly connected, rigid, and inflexible
 
Strengths Detailed, specific, and mainly empirical understanding of traps Broad, general, and mainly theoretical understanding
 
Weakness Separate, unconnected explanations
Neglect of ecological drivers
Inconsistent treatment of traps
Tendency to endogenize causation
Limits of biological models
 
Challenges vis à vis indigenous context The need for close scrutiny of system boundaries, characterization of system-environment interaction, and accounting for internal and external factors
The need to reinterpret poverty traps as resilient but undesirable states
The possibility of co-occurrence of poverty and rigidity traps