In sozial-ökologischen Netzwerkstrukturen lässt sich in abstrahierter Form erfassen, wie die Governance eines bestimmten Ökosystems funktioniert.
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Multi-level network dataset of ten Swiss wetlands governance cases based on qualitative interviews and quantitative surveys
The dataset of this paper originated from quantitative online surveys and qualitative expert interviews with organizational actors relevant to the governance of ten Swiss wetlands from 2019 till 2021. Multi-level networks represent the wetlands governance for each of the ten cases. The collaboration networks of actors form the first level of the multi-level networks and are connected to multiple other network levels that account for the social and ecological systems those actors are active in. 521 actors relevant to the management of the ten wetlands are included in the collaboration networks; quantitative survey data exists for 71% of them. A unique feature of the collaboration networks is that it differentiates between positive and negative forms of collaboration specified based on actors' activity areas. Therefore, the data describes not only if actors collaborate but also how and where actors collaborate. Further additional two-mode networks (actor participation in forums and involvement in other regions outside the case area) are elicited in the survey and connected to the collaboration network. Finally, the dataset also contains data on ecological system interdependencies in the form of conceptual maps derived from 34 expert interviews (3-4 experts per case).
How the qualities of actor-issue interdependencies influence collaboration patterns
Environmental governance is complex because it addresses challenges anchored in different sectors and concerns multiple interdependent issues. Managing those complex interdependencies through collaboration is vital for efficient long-term environmental governance. However, because interdependencies between environmental issues are challenging to unravel and vastly complex, it is challenging for actors to account for them when deciding with whom to collaborate. I use the concept of social-ecological networks to study interdependencies among actors and environmental issues and ask how the quality of actor-issue interdependencies influences collaboration patterns. Based on the actor-issue network, I account for interdependencies based on three distinct qualities of actor-issue paths, i.e., (i) length of actor-issue paths: how closely actors are connected by environmental issues, (ii) multiplexity of actor-issue paths: if actors have multiple parallel paths connecting them through environmental issues, and (iii) similarity of actor-issue paths: whether actors’ environmental impact is similar to one of their potential collaboration partners. Using exponential random graph models and data on eight Swiss wetlands, a qualitative meta-regression analysis of the results reveals that the three qualities of actor-issue interdependencies influence collaboration patterns between actors. Whether the impact of actor-issue interdependencies on the probability of collaboration ties is positive or negative largely depends on the complexity of the governance situations. Only in situations with homogeneous case areas and under the absence of borders (low network exogenous governance complexity) as well as in the presence of many actors do the length, multiplexity, and similarity of actor-issue interdependencies have a clear, positive impact on the formation of collaboration ties. Although the comparative setting helps identify specific governance settings where the hypotheses are supported, it also reveals the importance of multi-case studies to compare contextual differences between cases.
Cross‐sectoral information and actors' contact networks in natural resource governance in the Swiss Alps
Governance of natural resources is challenging due to cross-sectoral dependencies across related sectors such as, for example, water, agriculture, and energy. Actors involved in natural resource governance create network contacts with each other, in order to deal with specific governance issues. An important resource for actors is information, and actors act according to the amount of information they have about other related sectors. In this article, we study how the information actors possess about different sectors is related to their contact network across sectors. We empirically study a case of water management in the Swiss mountain valley of Engadin. We use descriptive and inferential network analysis to show that actors with more information about other sectors establish more contacts in general, as well as with actors from those other sectors. We conclude that successful natural resource governance hinges upon the information that actors have about other sectors related to their sector.
Huber, M. N.; Fischer, M.; Egli, N. (2022) Cross‐sectoral information and actors' contact networks in natural resource governance in the Swiss Alps, Environmental Policy and Governance, doi:10.1002/eet.2036, Institutional Repository