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Coerced regimes: management challenges in the Anthropocene

Angeler, David and Chaffin, Brian C. and Sundstrom, Shana M. and Garmestani, Ahjond and Pope, Kevin L. and Uden, Daniel R. and Twidwell, Dirac and Allen, Craig R. (2020). Coerced regimes: management challenges in the Anthropocene. Ecology and Society. 25 , 1-11
[Research article]

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Management frequently creates system conditions that poorly mimic the conditions of a desirable self-organizing regime. Such management is ubiquitous across complex systems of people and nature and will likely intensify as these systems face rapid change. However, it is highly uncertain whether the costs (unintended consequences, including negative side effects) of management but also social dynamics can eventually outweigh benefits in the long term. We introduce the term “coerced regime” to conceptualize this management form and tie it into resilience theory. The concept encompasses proactive and reactive management to maintain desirable and mitigate undesirable regime conditions, respectively. A coerced regime can be quantified through a measure of the amount of management required to artificially maintain its desirable conditions. Coerced regimes comprise “ghosts” of self-sustaining desirable system regimes but ultimately become “dead regimes walking” when these regimes collapse as soon as management is discontinued. We demonstrate the broad application of coerced regimes using distinct complex systems of humans and nature (human subjects, aquatic and terrestrial environments, agriculture, and global climate). We discuss commonalities and differences between these examples to identify trade-offs between benefits and harms of management. The concept of coerced regimes can spur thinking and inform management about the duality of what we know and can envision versus what we do not know and therefore cannot envision: a pervasive sustainability conundrum as planet Earth swiftly moves toward a future without historical analogue.

Authors/Creators:Angeler, David and Chaffin, Brian C. and Sundstrom, Shana M. and Garmestani, Ahjond and Pope, Kevin L. and Uden, Daniel R. and Twidwell, Dirac and Allen, Craig R.
Title:Coerced regimes: management challenges in the Anthropocene
Series Name/Journal:Ecology and Society
Year of publishing :2020
Page range:1-11
Number of Pages:11
Publisher:Ecological Society of America, Resilience Alliance, Carleton University
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (Peace and Conflict Research and Studies on Sustainable Society)
Keywords:alternative regimes, coercion, interdisciplinary, management, mitigation, resilience, restoration
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Type of IDID
ID Code:16709
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:26 Mar 2020 14:26
Metadata Last Modified:15 Jan 2021 19:17

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