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Vertical Interplay among Scale-dependent Environmental and Resource Regimes

Oran Young, Bren School, University of California, Santa Barbara


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Environmental and resource regimes, operating at different levels of social organization, vary in terms of factors such as the sources of actor behavior, the knowledge available to actors, the operation of compliance mechanisms, the use of policy instruments, and the nature of the broader social setting. Cross-level interactions among scale-dependent regimes can result in patterns of dominance, separation, merger, negotiated agreement, or system change. The mechanisms that determine which of these patterns will occur include authority/power differentials, limits of decentralization, dueling discourses, cognitive transitions, and blocking coalitions. Recurrent linkages or syndromes occur in this realm, e.g., limitations of authority and power regularly produce negotiated agreements in such forms as comanagement arrangements. The consequences of these interactions are often far-reaching as measured in terms of ecological sustainability, social welfare/efficiency, cultural values, and robustness.

Key words

cross-level interaction; institution; jurisdiction; regime; scale; scale dependence; vertical interplay

Copyright © 2006 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