Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Series Foreword

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pp. vii-viii

Humans now influence all biological and physical systems of the planet. Almost no species, land area, or part of the oceans has remained unaffected by the expansion of the human species. Recent scientific findings suggest that the entire earth system now operates outside the normal state...

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

In this book, I seek to produce insights about governing complex systems by joining two substantial streams of thought, each a continuing focus of interest since the early stages of my career. One stream deals with the analysis of systems and especially the coupled systems that arise in interactions...

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Introduction: The Age of Complexity

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pp. 1-22

One of the most powerful and robust findings to emerge from the contemporary literature on governance centers on what we have come to think of as the “problem of fit” (Young et al. 1999/2005; Young 2002; Galaz et al. 2008; Young, King, and Schroeder 2008). The essential insight is...

I: Enduring Insights from Ongoing Research

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1. Environmental Governance as a Point of Departure

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pp. 25-44

If we distinguish governance as a social function from government as an organization or assemblage of organizations created under various circumstances to perform the function of governance, it makes sense to ask whether there are conditions under which governance without government...

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2. Determinants of Effective Problem-Solving

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pp. 45-64

A common observation among those concerned with solving environmental problems and, more generally, promoting sustainability in humanenvironment relations is that governance systems work relatively well at the national level but poorly or not at all in efforts to solve international...

II: Challenges of the Anthropocene

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3. On Thresholds and Trigger Mechanisms

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pp. 67-92

A notable feature of complex systems is that they are subject to changes that are nonlinear, often abrupt, sometimes transformative, and commonly hard to anticipate. Interest in such changes occurring in biophysical systems and in the thresholds (or tipping points) and the trigger...

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4. The Sustainability Transition

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pp. 93-118

There is a growing gap between reality and our guiding assumptions about the behavior of socioecological systems that threatens to undermine efforts to create and administer governance systems capable of steering human-environment interactions toward sustainable outcomes...

III: New Perspectives on Governance

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5. Goal-Setting as a Governance Strategy

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pp. 121-144

The challenge of meeting needs for governance has emerged as a central concern in many social settings, not least in international society where we are confronted with the complexities of devising integrated responses to the interactive biophysical and socioeconomic forces affecting the pursuit...

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6. Principled Governance

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pp. 145-180

Are we witnessing the emergence of a meaningful system of environmental ethics at the international level? If so, will this development offer new ways of thinking about governance that are helpful in steering complex systems toward the achievement of sustainability in the Anthropocene...

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7. The Contributions of Good Governance

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pp. 181-210

Another perspective that may prove helpful in addressing the challenges of governing complex systems centers on the idea of “good governance.” Because this idea is deeply embedded in western political and legal thought, we habitually treat the desirability of pursuing good governance...

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Conclusion: Science, Policy, and the Governance of Complex Systems

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pp. 211-238

If the thesis I have presented in the preceding chapters is persuasive, then we must set about overcoming the grip of business as usual in our thinking about the governance of complex systems, and guarding against the power of path dependence in our efforts to create and implement governance...

Notes

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pp. 239-244

References

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pp. 245-266

Index

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pp. 267-279