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Diagnosing Institutional Fit: a Formal Perspective

Michael Cox, Dartmouth College


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I attempt to demonstrate that the concept of institutional fit and the closely related approach of institutional diagnosis can be improved with the process of formalization. In this context, the concept of fit is interpreted as a way of expressing certain theoretical propositions that relate a set of variables with each other and with an outcome. This perspective is demonstrated through the use of the Web Ontology Language to express several "theories of fit." Using a formal language to describe types of fit and their associated theories is argued to have much potential for advancing the scientific study of social-ecological systems.

Key words

diagnostics; formalization; institutional fit; social-ecological systems

Copyright © 2012 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes 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