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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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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

Copyright © 2005 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087