John M. Anderies

John M. Anderies
Arizona State University | ASU · School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Doctor of Philosophy

About

176
Publications
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16,392
Citations

Publications

Publications (176)
Preprint
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We develop a framework within which to conceptualize World-Earth System resilience. Our notion of World-Earth System resilience emphasizes the need to move beyond the basin of attraction notion of resilience as we are not in a basin we can stay in. We are on a trajectory to a new basin and we have to avoid falling into undesirable basins. We thus f...
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Transformation toward a sustainable future requires an earth stewardship approach to shift society from its current goal of increasing material wealth to a vision of sustaining built, natural, human, and social capital—equitably distributed across society, within and among nations. Widespread concern about earth’s current trajectory and support for...
Article
Resilience-based approaches have been attracting attention in governing social-ecological systems facing rapid social and environmental changes. In this article, we investigate the governance policies that focus on resilience. Our analysis is built on a stylized dynamical model that mathematically operationalizes a widely used conceptual framework,...
Article
Comparative institutional analyses of social-ecological systems (SESs) have advanced our understanding of features and performances of single institutions such as state, market, and self-organized institutions. However, such studies have hardly extended our understanding of institutional diversity to combinations of different institutions and their...
Article
Climate change is a problem that requires a multi-scale response from the individual to the global. Each level and type of entity has some capacity to influence climate change action and policy, but as a multi-level collective action problem, it is not surprising that there is underprovision of climate change action; this challenge highlights the n...
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The increasing frequency of extreme events, exogenous and endogenous, poses challenges for our societies. The current pandemic is a case in point; but "once-in-a-century" weather events are also becoming more common, leading to erosion, wildfire and even volcanic events that change ecosystems and disturbance regimes, threaten the sustainability of...
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Describing and explaining the population growth trajectories of prehistoric hunter-gatherers is an important research problem. Large radiocarbon data sets provide one empirical starting point for describing these trajectories; however, explaining trajectories of growth must always take place within the context of theory. In this paper, we formalize...
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Explaining the stability of human populations provides knowledge for understanding the resilience of human societies to environmental change. Here, we use archaeological radiocarbon records to evaluate a hypothesis drawn from resilience thinking that may explain the stability of human populations: Faced with long-term increases in population densit...
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en Urban water supply systems in the United States are designed to be robust to a wide range of historical hydrological conditions in both their physical infrastructure and in the institutional arrangements that govern their use. However, these systems vary greatly in their capacity to respond to new and evolving stressors on water supplies, such a...
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Locust outbreaks have impacted agricultural societies for millennia, they persist today, and humans aim to manage them using preventative strategies. While locusts have been a focus for natural sciences for more than a century, social sciences remain largely underrepresented. Yet, organizational, economic, and cultural variables substantially impac...
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Lasting community-based governance of common-pool resources depends on communities self-organizing to monitor compliance with rules. Monitoring serves an important function in community-based governance by establishing conditions for long-term cooperation, but the factors that foster its provision are poorly understood. We have analysed data from 1...
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A generalized knowledge of social-ecological relationships is needed to address current environmental challenges. Broadly comparative and synthetic research is a key method for establishing this type of knowledge. To date, however, most work on social-ecological systems has applied idiosyncratic methods to specific systems. Several projects, each b...
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As planetary boundaries loom, there is an urgent need to develop sustainable equilibriums between societies and the resources they consume, thereby avoiding regime shifts to undesired states. Transient system trajectories to a stable state may differ substantially, posing significant challenges to distinguishing sustainable from unsustainable traje...
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In order to smooth the availability of water and address water scarcity, shared irrigation infrastructure is constructed in many irrigation systems. However, maintaining contributions to shared infrastructure has grown increasingly challenging as private infrastructure, such as groundwater pumps, have become attractive substitutes. This problem is...
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Climate change is reshaping the comparative advantage of regions and hence driving migration flows, principally toward urban areas. Migration has multiple benefits and costs in both origin and destination regions. Coordinated policies that recognize how and why people move can reduce future costs and facilitate adaptation to climate change both wit...
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As cities and agricultural areas face water challenges associated with climate change, it is important to develop a better understanding of how human and natural systems will respond at the scales at which those changes will occur. This requires analytical tools to systematically explore regional contexts where multiple interdependent water, agricu...
Article
Two social feedbacks critical for redressing decline in organizational performance are exit (changing membership to a better performing organization) and voice (members' expression of discontent). In self-governing organizations of common-pool resources (CPRs) experiencing decline from poor rule conformance, the exit option is often unavailable due...
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Explaining variation in human population density constitutes a basic research problem in human ecology and archaeological science. To contribute to this basic research problem, we build a graphic model and conduct a global analysis of the effects of ecological variables, controlling for technological differences, on human population density. Our re...
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The world is facing new environmental challenges that may trigger the collapse of some social-ecological systems (SES). More extreme weather events may be much more common in the decades to come due to climate change. Although we have an idea of what climatic events to expect in each region, we know less about how SES can cope with these challenges...
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With the increasing number of adaptation plans being generated across the world at multiple scales and levels of organization, the issue of coordination among plans is emerging as a significant challenge. We focus on how lack of coordination may constrain their efficiency as a result of potential transfers of vulnerability. This paper focuses on in...
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We consider two aspects of the human enterprise that profoundly affect the global environment: population and consumption. We show that fertility and consumption behavior harbor a class of externalities that have not been much noted in the literature. Both are driven in part by attitudes and preferences that are not egoistic but socially embedded;...
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Tipping point dynamics are fundamental drivers for sustainable transition pathways of social-ecological systems (SES). Current research predominantly analyzes how crossing tipping points causes regime shifts, however, the analysis of potential transition pathways from these social and ecological tipping points is often overlooked. In this paper, we...
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Studies of small-scale, self-organized social-ecological systems have contributed to our understanding of successful governance of shared resources. However, the lack of formal analytically tractable models of such coupled infrastructure systems makes it difficult to connect this understanding to such concepts as stability, robustness, and resilien...
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The U.S. highway system is an iconic example of civil infrastructure. Yet it also exemplifies the challenges of infrastructure sustainability. The American Society for Civil Engineers gave the American road infrastructure a grade of “D” since the roads “are often crowded, frequently in poor condition, chronically underfunded, and are becoming more...
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Individual organisms on land and in the ocean sequester massive amounts of the carbon emitted into the atmosphere by humans. Yet the role of ecosystems as a whole in modulating this uptake of carbon is less clear. Here, we study several different mechanisms by which climate change and ecosystems could interact. We show that climate change could cau...
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Human behaviour is of profound significance in shaping pathways towards sustainability. Yet, the approach to understanding human behaviour in many fields remains reliant on overly simplistic models. For a better understanding of the interface between human behaviour and sustainability, we take work in behavioural economics and cognitive psychology...
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Understanding social-ecological system (SES) feedbacks and interactions is crucial to improving societal resilience to growing environmental challenges. Social-ecological systems are usually researched at one of two spatial scales: local placed-based empirical studies or system-scale modelling, with limited efforts to date exploring the merits of c...
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There are numerous frameworks for studying the governance of shared resources that have been discussed extensively in the literature. Although these frameworks have been applied to multiple case studies, these applications are often idiosyncratic, subject to the interpretation of the researcher, and raise concerns regarding the operational use of f...
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Sustainability within planetary boundaries requires concerted action by individuals, governments, civil society and private actors. For the private sector, there is concern that the power exercised by transnational corporations generates, and is even central to, global environmental change. Here, we ask under which conditions transnational corporat...
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Taking inspiration from the archaeology of the Texas Coastal Plain (TCP), we develop an ecological theory of population distribution among mobile hunter-gatherers. This theory proposes that, due to the heterogeneity of resources in space and time, foragers create networks of habitats that they access through residential cycling and shared knowledge...
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To determine the resilience of complex social-ecological systems (SESs) it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of the system behavior under changing political, economic, and environmental conditions (i.e., external system stressors). Such behavior can be predicted if one knows the stable and unstable equilibrium states in a system and how...
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Landscape scientists have increasingly studied sustainability during the past three decades, with a plurality of perspectives and methods. However, a comprehensive review of the relevant literature is still lacking. Two concepts capture the core of these studies: sustainable landscapes (SL) and landscape sustainability (LS). Here we present a bibli...
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Social conflicts related to biodiversity conservation and adaptation policy to climate change in coastal areas illustrate the need to reinforce understanding of the “matters of concern” as well as the “matters of fact”. In this paper, we argue that we must rethink adaptation from a new perspective, considering that humans together function as both...
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Decision makers often have to act before critical times to avoid the collapse of ecosystems using knowledge that can be incomplete or biased. Adaptive management may help managers tackle such issues. However, because the knowledge infrastructure required for adaptive management may be mobilized in several ways, we study the quality and the quantity...
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Robustness and resilience are concepts in systems thinking that have grown in importance and popularity. For many complex social-ecological systems, however, robustness and resilience are difficult to quantify and the connections and trade-offs between them difficult to study. Most studies have either focused on qualitative approaches to discuss th...
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We conduct a global comparison of the consumption of energy by human populations throughout the Holocene and statistically quantify coincident changes in the consumption of energy over space and time—an ecological phenomenon known as synchrony. When populations synchronize, adverse changes in ecosystems and social systems may cascade from society t...
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Maintaining safe operating spaces for exploited natural systems in the face of uncertainty is a key sustainability challenge. This challenge can be viewed as a problem in which human society must navigate in a limited space of acceptable futures in which humans enjoy sufficient well-being and avoid crossing planetary boundaries. A critical obstacle...
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Changes to climate–carbon cycle feedbacks may significantly affect the Earth system's response to greenhouse gas emissions. These feedbacks are usually analysed from numerical output of complex and arguably opaque Earth system models. Here, we construct a stylised global climate–carbon cycle model, test its output against comprehensive Earth system...
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Infrastructure development is central to the processes that abate and produce vulnerabilities in cities. Urban actors, especially those with power and authority, perceive and interpret vulnerability and decide when and how to adapt. When city managers use infrastructure to reduce urban risk in the complex, interconnected city system, new fragilitie...
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Robustness and resilience are concepts in systems thinking that have grown in importance and popularity. For many complex social-ecological systems, however, robustness and resilience are difficult to quantify and the connections and trade-offs between them difficult to study. Most studies have either focused on qualitative approaches to discuss th...
Article
Full-text available
Changes to climate-carbon cycle feedbacks may significantly affect the Earth System’s response to greenhouse gas emissions. These feedbacks are usually analysed from numerical output of complex and arguably opaque Earth System Models (ESMs). Here, we construct a stylized global climate-carbon cycle model, test its output against complex ESMs, and i...
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The resource management and environmental policy literature focuses on devising regulations and incentive structures to achieve desirable goals. It often presumes the existence of public infrastructure that actualizes these incentives and regulations through a process loosely referred to as ‘governance.’ In many cases, it is not clear if and how su...
Chapter
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Nonequilibrium ecology and resilience theory have transformed rangeland ecology and management by challenging the traditional assumptions of ecological stability and linear successional dynamics. These alternative interpretations indicate that ecosystem dynamics are strongly influenced by disturbance, heterogeneity, and existence of multiple stable...
Chapter
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Tradeoffs make win-win scenarios difficult to achieve in social-ecological systems (SES). But it is one thing to recognize that tradeoffs make win-wins difficult to achieve and quite another to understand the interaction of factors in social-ecological systems that generate tradeoffs, and the kinds of tradeoffs that may preclude win-wins. In this p...
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The planetary boundary framework constitutes an opportunity for decision makers to define climate policy through the lens of adaptive governance. Here, we use the DICE model to analyze the set of adaptive climate policies that comply with the two planetary boundaries related to climate change: (1) staying below a CO2 concentration of 550 ppm until...
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Smallholder agricultural systems, strongly dependent on water resources and investments in shared infrastructure, make a significant contribution to food security in developing countries. These communities are being increasingly integrated into the global economy and are exposed to new global climate-related risks that may affect their willingness...
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Climate change, biodiversity loss, antibiotic resistance, and other global challenges pose major collective action problems: A group benefits from a certain action, but no individual has sufficient incentive to act alone. Formal institutions, e.g., laws and treaties, have helped address issues like ozone depletion, lead pollution, and acid rain. Ho...
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Institutions, the rules of the game that shape repeated human interactions, clearly play a critical role in helping groups avoid the inefficient use of shared resources such as fisheries, freshwater, and the assimilative capacity of the environment. Institutions, however, are intimately intertwined with the human, social, and biophysical context wi...
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On-going efforts to understand the dynamics of coupled social-ecological (or more broadly, coupled infrastructure) systems and common pool resources have led to the generation of numerous datasets based on a large number of case studies. This data has facilitated the identification of important factors and fundamental principles which increase our...
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Large-N comparative studies have helped common pool resource scholars gain general insights into the factors that influence collective action and governance outcomes. However, these studies are often limited by missing data, and suffer from the methodological limitation that important information is lost when we reduce textual information to quanti...
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Governing common pool resources (CPR) in the face of disturbances such as globalization and climate change is challenging. The outcome of any CPR governance regime is the influenced by local combinations of social, institutional, and biophysical factors, as well as cross-scale interdependencies. In this study, we take a step towards understanding m...
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Improving the adaptive capacity of small-scale irrigation systems to the impacts of climate change is crucial for food security in Asia. This study analyzes the capacity of small-scale irrigation systems dependent on the Asian monsoon to adapt to variability in river discharge caused by climate change. Our study is motivated by the Pumpa irrigation...
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Climate change and its interactions with complex socioeconomic dynamics dictate the need for decision makers to move from incremental adaptation toward transformation as societies try to cope with unprecedented and uncertain change. Developing pathways toward transformation is especially difficult in regions with multiple contested resource uses an...
Book
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https://sustainingthecommons.asu.edu/