Flurina Schneider

Flurina Schneider
Institute for Social-Ecological Research | ISOE · Transdisciplinary Methods and Concepts

Prof Dr.

About

78
Publications
33,640
Reads
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1,974
Citations
Citations since 2017
37 Research Items
1506 Citations
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Additional affiliations
April 2021 - present
Institute for Social-Ecological Research
Position
  • Managing Director
April 2021 - present
Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Position
  • Professor
August 2013 - June 2014
Arizona State University
Position
  • Fellow
Education
October 1997 - April 2003
University of Basel
Field of study
  • Geography, botany, environmental protection and law

Publications

Publications (78)
Article
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The chemical pollution crisis severely threatens human and environmental health globally. To tackle this challenge the establishment of an overarching international science–policy body has recently been suggested. We strongly support this initiative based on the awareness that humanity has already likely left the safe operating space within planeta...
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Unlabelled: Transdisciplinary research (TDR) has been developed to generate knowledge that effectively fosters the capabilities of various societal actors to realize sustainability transformations. The development of TDR theories, principles, and methods has been largely governed by researchers from the global North and has reflected their context...
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Oil palm landscapes are often characterised by land conflicts. Multi-stakeholder platforms (MSP) may be a promising means to contribute to conflict resolution. However, the merits of MSPs are limited in contexts with strong power imbalances and entrenched conflict histories. This study analyses an MSP from Myanmar. We developed an analytical framew...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has jolted societies out of normality, possibly creating new conditions for sustainability transformations. What does this mean for sustainability research? Because of the scope of the crisis, researchers have been heavily involved: not only have they had to speed up the pace of scientific production to provide urgently needed...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has jolted societies out of normality, possibly creating new conditions for sustainability transformations. What does this mean for sustainability research? Because of the scope of the crisis, researchers have been heavily involved: not only have they had to speed up the pace of scientific production to provide urgently needed...
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1. Tropical forest frontier areas support the well-being of local populations in myriad ways. Not only do they provide the material basis for people's livelihoods , they also sustain socio-cultural foundations through relational values. They host some of the most biodiverse ecosystems and largest carbon stocks on the planet, and are thus a focus of...
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The central role of science and robust data sets as a means for advancing sustainable development has gained traction across science and policy communities globally. Furthermore, strengthening the science-policy interface in ways that link scientific knowledge production and societal problem solving requires both inter-disciplinary collaborations,...
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In view of numerous and far reaching sustainability challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, social inequalities (to name but a few), effective collaboration between science and society is not only desirable; it is imperative. Networks play an important role in this regard because they link researchers and other actors from civil socie...
Article
During a civil war and its aftermath, rival powerholders frequently engage in decision-making over land use, for example, via land acquisitions or legal reforms. This paper explores how powerholders influence land use decision-making and what their engagement implies for territorial control. We analyse three cases of land use changes in Myanmar’s s...
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Introduction Sustainable development and sustainability transformations have reached high urgency on national and international agendas and involve new knowledge and learning processes. Transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge as a research approach in combination with the methodological elaboration of theories of change have potential to suppo...
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An increasing number of voices highlight the need for science itself to transform and to engage in the co-production of knowledge and action, in order to enable the fundamental transformations needed to advance towards sustainable futures. But how can global sustainability-oriented research networks engage in co-production of knowledge and action?...
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When addressing societal challenges, how can researchers orient their thinking to produce not only knowledge on problems, but also knowledge that helps to overcome those problems? The concept of ‘three types of knowledge’ is helpful for structuring project goals, formulating research questions and developing action plans. Read full blog article...
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The intensively discussed term transformation refers to the comprehensive restructuring of processes and behaviour in order to address societal challenges posed by far-reaching changes in energy, transport, production and agricultural systems. Since such complex transformations are always accompanied by uncertainties about their effects and consequ...
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Formalised knowledge systems, including universities and research institutes, are important for contemporary societies. They are, however, also arguably failing humanity when their impact is measured against the level of progress being made in stimulating the societal changes needed to address challenges like climate change. In this research we use...
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Formalised knowledge systems, including universities and research institutes, are important for contemporary societies. They are, however, also arguably failing humanity when their impact is measured against the level of progress being made in stimulating the societal changes needed to address challenges like climate change. In this research we use...
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Participatory research approaches are often assumed to be effective for addressing sustainability problems that involve a substantial amount of complexity, uncertainty, and conflicting values. The adaptive and integrative character of these approaches engages various scientific and nonscientific actors in collective knowledge production processes....
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To contribute to sustainability transformations, learning and teaching at higher education institutions must become trans-formative. A group of experts met for a one-day workshop organized by the Swiss Academic Society for Environmental Research and Ecology (saguf) in December 2019 to discuss the challenges of sustainability-oriented transformative...
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Sustainability Assessment of Urban Systems - edited by Claudia R. Binder March 2020
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Sustainability Assessment of Urban Systems - edited by Claudia R. Binder March 2020
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Competition over land is at the core of many sustainable development challenges in Myanmar: villagers, companies, governments, ethnic minority groups, civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations from local to the international level claim access to and decision-making power over the use of land. Therefore, this article investigat...
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Global change processes are increasing their pace and reach, leading to telecoupled situations, where distant factors come to outpace local determinants of land use change. Often, these dynamics drive agricultural intensification processes, with as yet unclear implications for the well-being of human populations living in the areas affected. This s...
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Introduction Advancing the sustainability of agricultural systems is a complex endeavor (Kemp and Martens 2007). According to the Brundtland Report, sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (WCED 1987). However, the definition of sustainability is challengin...
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This study contributes to the ongoing discussion on how to attribute and evaluate the contribution of transdisciplinary research to sustainable development. As co-created knowledge is a key product of transdisciplinary research, we tested the hypothesis that the extent to which this knowledge is utilized beyond the project consortia, in different a...
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Tropical forest landscapes are undergoing vast transformations. Myanmar was long an exception to this trend – until recent policy reforms put economic development at the forefront. Under ambiguous land rights, commercial agriculture has spread rapidly, causing an unprecedented loss of biodiversity-rich forest. In south-eastern Myanmar, where land t...
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Systems, targets and transformations are guiding metaphors of environmental and sustainability research. Is the framing of these concepts still adequate to address today’s wicked sustainability challenges?
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The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development stresses the fundamental role science should play in implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by the global community. But how can and should researchers respond to this societal demand on science? We argue that answering this question requires systematic engagement with the fundament...
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Transdisciplinary co-production of knowledge is widely credited with producing knowledge that can contribute to sustainability transformations, but there is little empirical evidence showing to what extent and through what mechanisms it is actually advancing sustainability. This article analyses how 31 transdisciplinary projects conceptualised the...
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Science-based initiatives generate particular changes towards sustainable development. But why and how does this work? Theories of change (ToCs) can help in understanding the theoretical assumptions and modes of knowledge production associated with these initiatives: ToCs trigger debate among the stakeholders and evaluators of an initiative regardi...
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Mountain farming systems rely on both empirical and academic knowledge. Their sustainability depends on how effectively diverse knowledge is used for solution-oriented decision making. For mountains, decisions must be conducive to rural farmers whose livelihoods depend on agriculture and related activities. Adopting transdisciplinary research appro...
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Extensive land use changes in forest frontier landscapes are leading to trade-offs in the supply of ecosystem services (ES) with, in many cases, as yet unknown effects on human well-being. In the Tanintharyi Region of Myanmar, a forest frontier landscape facing oil palm and rubber expansion, little is known about local perspectives on ES and the di...
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Societal issues such as poverty, water scarcity, and food insecurity make it more important than ever for science to produce knowledge that is relevant to address serious challenges on the ground. A growing number of research funding programmes emphasize the need for transdisciplinary (TD) co-production of knowledge as one way of making research pa...
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Land is at the core of our planet’s sustainable development challenges. Different actors have contesting claims on ecosystem services provided by local land systems. Land-use changes therefore always entail trade-offs in terms of ecosystem service provision. The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a normative frame for la...
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Social sciences and humanities play important roles in sustainability-oriented transformative research. A saguf workshop revealed what these roles can look like.
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Myanmar has experienced profound transformations of land use and land governance, often at the expense of smallholders. Empirical evidence on the agency of actors included and excluded in land use decision-making remains scarce. This study analyses who influences land use decision-making, how they do this, and under what circumstances smallholders...
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Stakeholder interactions are increasingly viewed as an important element of research for sustainable development. But to what extent, how, and for which goals should stakeholders be involved? In this article, we explore what degrees of stakeholder interaction show the most promise in research for sustainable development. For this purpose, we examin...
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Transdisciplinary research is considered an appropriate mode of knowledge production in the search for pathways towards a more sustainable governance of natural resources. However, the co-production of new knowledge between scientists of different disciplines and nonacademic stakeholders is a challenge that requires novel research designs, methods,...
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Can the concept of water as a socio-natural hybrid and the analysis of different users’ perceptions of water advance the study of water sustainability? In this article, I explore this question by empirically studying sustainability values and challenges, as well as distinct types of water as identified by members of five water user groups in a case...
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Wie können die Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften zur nachhaltigen Ressourcennutzung beitragen? Diese Frage wurde bei der SAGW-Tagung Nachhaltige Ressourcennutzung ‐ von der Evidenz zur Intervention diskutiert. Im Zentrum standen Fragen zu Werteorientierung und Gerechtigkeit, Einbeziehung von Stakeholdern und Umsetzungsorientierung sowie die diszipl...
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Reaktion auf vier Beiträge zu transformativer Wissenschaft in GAIA (2015): A. Grunwald, U. Schneidewind, C. von Wissel, W. Rohe
Book
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Das nationale Forschungsprogramm NFP 61 «Nachhaltige Wassernutzung » des Schweizerischen Nationalfonds hat sich zum Ziel gesetzt, wissenschaftliche Grundlagen zur nachhaltigen Wasserbewirtschaftung in der Schweiz zu liefern. Als Teil dieses Forschungsvorhabens wurde im Rahmen des Projektes MontanAqua die Wasserbewirtschaftung der Region Crans-Monta...
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If we postulate a need for the transformation of society towards sustainable development, we also need to transform science and overcome the fact/value split that makes it impossible for science to be accountable to society. The orientation of this paradigm transformation in science has been under debate for four decades, generating important theor...
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One significant challenge for the operationalization of water justice arises from the many dynamic scales involved. In this paper we explore the scalar dimension of justice in water governance through the insights derived from empirical research on hydropower production in the Swiss Alps and the application of the geographical concept of politics o...
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We present and test a conceptual and methodological approach for interdisciplinary sustainability assessments of water governance systems based on what we call the sustainability wheel. The approach combines transparent identification of sustainability principles, their regional contextualization through sub-principles (indicators), and the scoring...
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Modeling of future water systems at the regional scale is a difficult task due to the complexity of current structures (multiple competing water uses, multiple actors, formal and informal rules) both temporally and spatially. Representing this complexity in the modeling process is a challenge that can be addressed by an interdisciplinary and holist...
Conference Paper
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Patagonia has a substantial potential for hydropower production due to large streams and significant altitude differences. The controversial project “Hidroaysén” plans to make use of this potential and aims to build 5 dams and a 2000km long transmission line planed to delivering 18’000 GWh per year. However, the need for such quantities of electric...
Conference Paper
Hydropower is an important way of renewable energy production. However, large hydropower projects lead to costs and benefits on different spatial and temporal scales. However, perceptions, interests and fears of people on local, regional and national scales are rarely properly taken into account. Consequently, in Chile, the planning of a large-scal...
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Competing water demands for household consumption as well as the production of food, energy, and other uses pose challenges for water supply and sustainable development in many parts of the world. Designing creative strategies and learning processes for sustainable water governance is thus of prime importance. While this need is uncontested, suitab...
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Increasing pressure on mountain water resources is making it necessary to address water governance issues in a transdisciplinary way. This entails drawing on different disciplinary perspectives, different types of knowledge, and different interests to answer complex governance questions. This study identifies strategies for addressing specific chal...
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In times of increasing uncertainty because of climate and socioeconomic changes, the ability to deal with uncertainty and surprise is an essential requirement for the sustainability of alpine water governance. This article aims to contribute to the understanding of the adaptive capacity of water governance arrangements in the Swiss Alps and to prop...
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This paper studied the development of no-tillage by combining concepts of co-creation of knowledge and actor-network theory. Reconstructing the process of no-tillage development in Switzerland has made it possible to show that no-tillage development may be regarded as a dynamic process of co-creation of innovation, where human and non-human actors...
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No-tillage is an effective protective measure against erosion which offers ecological and economic advantages. Although it has spread continually in Switzerland since the mid-1980s and some cantons actively promote its adoption, the share of total agricultural land under no-tillage remains low (4 %). This study on reasons for adoption or rejection...
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La charrue a évolué au cours des siècles pour devenir la base des pratiques agricoles et le symbole même de l'agriculture (fig. 1). La charrue a permis de mettre les terres en culture, de lutter contre les mauvaises herbes et de préparer la terre à recevoir le semis. Le concept de terre meuble et fertile («Bodengare») a longtemps été lié à la croya...
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Der Pflug entwickelte sich über die Jahrhunderte nicht nur zu einer grundlegenden landwirtschaftlichen Technik, son-dern auch zu einem eigentlichen Symbol für Landwirt-schaft per se (Abb. 1). Der Pflug ermöglichte es Land für die Produktion urbar zu machen, Unkraut zu bekämpfen und das Saatbeet zu bereiten. Nach dem Konzept der «Bodengare» ging man...
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Endogenous knowledge has become an important component of bottom-up approaches to strengthening sustainable development processes. After reviewing the rise of the paradigm of endogenous development, we highlight how research within the framework of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South has contributed to the advance...
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There is increasing recognition that transdisciplinary approaches are needed to create suitable knowledge for sustainable water management. However, there is no common understanding of what transdis-ciplinary research may be and there is very limited debate on potentials and challenges regarding its implementation. Against this background, this pap...
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Trust is seen as one of the most curcial aspects when consumers decide whether or not to buy organic products. We investigated consumer turst in organic food as well as the effectiveness of single factors in enhancing consumer turst by means of a quantitative survey in Germany.
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Within the scope of a comprehensive assessment of the degree of soil erosion in Switzerland, common methods have been used in the past including test plot measurements, artificial rainfall simulation, and erosion modelling. In addition, mapping guidelines for all visible erosion features have been developed since the 1970s and are being successfull...
Article
In order to fill existing knowledge gaps in the temporal and spatial distribution of soil erosion, its sources and causes, as well as in relation to its off-site impacts, erosion damage mapping of all visible erosion features was carried out at three study sites in Switzerland. The data illustrate that about one-quarter of the cultivated land was a...
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Co-production of knowledge between academic and non-academic communities is a prerequisite for research aiming at more sustainable development paths. Sustainability researchers face three challenges in such co-production: (a) addressing power relations; (b) interrelating different perspectives on the issues at stake; and (c) promoting a previously...
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This paper explores the significance of ‘life-worlds’ for better understanding why farmers adopt or reject soil conservation measures and for identifying basic dimensions to be covered by social learning processes in Swiss agricultural soil protection. The study showed that farmers interpret soil erosion and soil conservation measures against the b...
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Applied landscape ecology is considered to have a limited impact on decision-making. To improve the effectiveness of research, above all, closer cooperation between researchers and nonacademic actors is needed. We argue that a suitable research approach in this context is transdisciplinarity (td). We refer to td as interdisciplinary research that t...
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Nowadays the food market is very complex and anonymous. Consequently, consumer trust in food has become a key issue for food choice. For example, the production process of food is not always transparent for consumers. To provide more transparency and to enhance consumer trust, different initiatives communicating traceability to the consumers exist....
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Social learning approaches have become a prominent focus in studies related to sustainable agriculture. In order to better understand the potential of social learning for more sustainable development, the present study assessed the processes, effects and facilitating elements of interaction related to social learning in the context of Swiss soil pr...
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The study presented explores consumer trust in organic food and the effectiveness of enhancing consumer trust by communication strategies on traceability. The research is based on the general finding that trust is one of the most crucial aspects when consumers decide whether to buy or not to buy organic products. However, there are few empirical st...
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No-tillage, which has diverse ecological and economic advantages, is an effective measure for protecting against erosion that has become more important in Switzerland in recent years. Since the mid-1980s, the amount of land on which this method is used increased from a few hectares to about 12'000 ha by 2006. Although this is still quite a small pr...
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Direktsaat ist eine wirksame Erosionsschutzmassnahme, die diverse ökologische und ökonomische Vorteile aufweist. Sie gewann in der Schweiz in den letzten Jahren zunehmend an Bedeutung: Seit Mitte der 1980er hat die direkt gesäte Fläche von weni-gen Hektaren auf rund 12'000 ha im Jahre 2006 zugenommen. Gemessen am gesamten Ackerland ist diese Fläche...