Understanding relational patterns in environmental governance
In modern governance systems, numerous governmental and non-governmental actors engage in complex interactive processes in their attempt to resolve environmental problems. The interactive process among a given actor constellation, through which environmental problems are recognized and addressed, shapes relatively stable patterns which are studied in this research using network analysis. We are particularly interested in i) whether, and if so how and why, distinct interaction patterns favour, or inhibit, an interactive environmental governance process. This is studied in the context of marine resources in the Northeast of Brazil and in central Indonesia. ii) Why and under which conditions do political actors establish contacts to some actors and not to others, how do the resultant overall network patterns in a political process change over time, and what drives these changes? This is currently studied in the context of a marine protected area development process in the Southeast of Brazil and it is envisaged to complement this research with further case studies from the coastal and marine realm in Germany. iii) A further network related research focus lies on developing conceptual and methodological advances with regards to how the analysis of social and ecological relationships can be combined in a meaningful way to better understand the resilience of social-ecological systems. This is studied in a project in the Sechura Bay, Peru und in research in Lower Saxony, Germany.
Contact persons in our team are Dr. Philipp Gorris and Prof. Dr. Stefanie Engel.