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E&S Home > Vol. 11, Iss. 2 > Art. 8 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Scale and Cross-Scale Dynamics: Governance and Information in a Multilevel World

David W. Cash, Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs
W. Neil Adger, University of East Anglia
Fikret Berkes, University of Manitoba
Po Garden, Chiang Mai University
Louis Lebel, Chiang Mai University
Per Olsson, Stockholm University
Lowell Pritchard, National Wildlife Federation
Oran Young, University of California


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The empirical evidence in the papers in this special issue identifies pervasive and difficult cross-scale and cross-level interactions in managing the environment. The complexity of these interactions and the fact that both scholarship and management have only recently begun to address this complexity have provided the impetus for us to present one synthesis of scale and cross-scale dynamics. In doing so, we draw from multiple cases, multiple disciplines, and multiple perspectives. In this synthesis paper, and in the accompanying cases, we hypothesize that the dynamics of cross-scale and cross-level interactions are affected by the interplay between institutions at multiple levels and scales. We suggest that the advent of co-management structures and conscious boundary management that includes knowledge co-production, mediation, translation, and negotiation across scale-related boundaries may facilitate solutions to complex problems that decision makers have historically been unable to solve.

Key words

scale; level; cross-scale dynamics; boundary organization; co-management

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