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Transformative environmental governance

October 1, 2016

Transformative governance is an approach to environmental governance that has the capacity to respond to, manage, and trigger regime shifts in coupled social-ecological systems (SESs) at multiple scales. The goal of transformative governance is to actively shift degraded SESs to alternative, more desirable, or more functional regimes by altering the structures and processes that define the system. Transformative governance is rooted in ecological theories to explain cross-scale dynamics in complex systems, as well as social theories of change, innovation, and technological transformation. Similar to adaptive governance, transformative governance involves a broad set of governance components, but requires additional capacity to foster new social-ecological regimes including increased risk tolerance, significant systemic investment, and restructured economies and power relations. Transformative governance has the potential to actively respond to regime shifts triggered by climate change, and thus future research should focus on identifying system drivers and leading indicators associated with social-ecological thresholds.

Publication Year 2016
Title Transformative environmental governance
DOI 10.1146/annurev-environ-110615-085817
Authors Brian C. Chaffin, Ahjond S. Garmestani, Lance H. Gunderson, Melinda Harm Benson, David G. Angeler, Craig Anthony (Tony) Arnold, Barbara Cosens, Robin Kundis Craig, J.B. Ruhl, Craig R. Allen
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Annual Review of Environment and Resources
Index ID 70185057
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Seattle