Lessons learned from synthetic research projects based on the ostrom workshop frameworks

Cox, Michael, Gurney, Georgina G., Anderies, John M., Coleman, Eric, Darling, Emily, Epstein, Graham, Frey, Ulrich J., Nenadovic, Mateja, Schlager, Edella, and Villamayor-Tomas, Sergio (2021) Lessons learned from synthetic research projects based on the ostrom workshop frameworks. Ecology and Society, 26 (1). 17.

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Abstract

A generalized knowledge of social-ecological relationships is needed to address current environmental challenges. Broadly comparative and synthetic research is a key method for establishing this type of knowledge. To date, however, most work on social-ecological systems has applied idiosyncratic methods to specific systems. Several projects, each based on the frameworks developed by Elinor Ostrom and colleagues, stand out for their application of consistent methods across a broad range of cases. In this paper we compare seven of these projects and draw conclusions regarding their potential benefits and the challenges that scholars can expect in conducting this type of research. The two main challenges that we identified are (1) the collective-action dilemmas that collaborators face in producing and maintaining the social and technical infrastructure that is needed for such projects; and (2) balancing complexity and comparability in the structure of the databases used and the associated methods for characterizing complex social-ecological cases. We discuss approaches for meeting these challenges, and present a guiding checklist of questions for project design and implementation to provide guidance for future broadly comparative research.

Item ID: 70724
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1708-3087
Keywords: Broadly comparative research, Commons, Ostrom, Synthesis
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2021 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.
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2022 23:47
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441002 Environmental sociology @ 30%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441006 Sociological methodology and research methods @ 40%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1902 Environmental policy, legislation and standards > 190205 Environmental protection frameworks (incl. economic incentives) @ 50%
19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1902 Environmental policy, legislation and standards > 190209 Sustainability indicators @ 50%
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