Maja Schlüter

Maja Schlüter
Stockholm University | SU · Stockholm Resilience Centre

About

154
Publications
67,056
Reads
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7,132
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2012 - present
Stockholm University
Position
  • Senior Researcher
January 2010 - January 2012
Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries
Position
  • Researcher
January 2006 - August 2009
Princeton University
Position
  • Marie Curie Visiting Research Fellow

Publications

Publications (154)
Article
Full-text available
Models are widely used for investigating cause-effect relationships in complex systems. However, often different models yield diverging causal claims about specific phenomena. Therefore, critical reflection is needed on causal insights derived from modeling. As an example, we here compare ecological models dealing with the dynamics and collapse of...
Article
We review the past decade’s widespread application of resilience science in sustainable development practice and examine whether and how resilience is reshaping this practice to better engage in complex contexts. We analyse six shifts in practice: from capitals to capacities, from objects to relations, from outcomes to processes, from closed to ope...
Article
Full-text available
In social-ecological systems (SES), where social and ecological processes are intertwined, phenomena are usually complex and involve multiple interdependent causes. Figuring out causal relationships is thus challenging but needed to better understand and then affect or manage such systems. One important and widely used tool to identify and communic...
Article
Full-text available
The complex nature of sustainability problems and the aim of sustainability science to support emergent processes of transformation require rethinking how we build and make use of theories. We highlight the diversity of ways in which theories, as assemblages of different elements that can serve a variety of purposes, can emerge within inter-discipl...
Article
Full-text available
Local and regional trade networks in small-scale fisheries are important for food security and livelihoods across the world. Such networks consist of both economic flows and social relationships, which connect different production regions to different types of fish demand. The structure of such trade networks, and the actions that take place within...
Article
Full-text available
In the Anthropocene, the social dynamics of human societies have become critical to understanding planetary-scale Earth system dynamics. The conceptual foundations of Earth system modelling have externalised social processes in ways that now hinder progress in understanding Earth resilience and informing governance of global environmental change. N...
Article
Full-text available
Co-management is often put forward as a way to foster sustainability and improve the adaptive capacity of small-scale fisheries. Transformations towards co-management are enabled by processes that support social change, such as nurturing leadership, collective action and learning, as well as political processes that change legislative frameworks fr...
Article
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The complex, context-dependent, and dynamic nature of human behavior is increasingly recognized as both an important cause of sustainability problems and potential leverage for their solution. Human beings are diverse, as are the social, ecological, and institutional settings in which they are embedded. Despite this recognition and extensive knowle...
Article
Full-text available
Recent research has demonstrated the multidimensional nature of poverty and the multi-level organization of social-ecological systems that display poverty traps. The traps on these different levels can reinforce each other, and therefore multi-level traps pose particular challenges for poverty alleviation. Yet, poverty trap models rarely consider m...
Book
Full-text available
The Routledge Handbook of Research Methods for Social-Ecological Systems provides a synthetic guide to the range of methods that can be employed in social-ecological systems (SES) research. The book is primarily targeted at graduate students, lecturers and researchers working on SES, and has been written in a style that is accessible to readers en...
Article
Full-text available
Small-scale fisheries are critically important for livelihoods around the world, particularly in tropical regions. However, climate variability and anthropogenic climate change may seriously impact small-scale fisheries by altering the abundance and distribution of target species. Social relationships between fishery users, such as fish traders, ca...
Article
Full-text available
Small-scale fisheries (SSF) contribute substantially to global food security, sustainable marine ecosystems and poverty alleviation. Yet many SSF face problems of overexploitation and poverty calling for novel governance approaches that enhance human-wellbeing, equity and ecological sustainability. External policies and interventions to support suc...
Article
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The interdependence of social and ecological processes is broadly acknowledged in the pursuit to enhance human wellbeing and prosperity for all. Yet, development interventions continue to prioritise economic development and short-term goals with little consideration of social-ecological interdependencies, ultimately undermining resilience and there...
Article
Full-text available
Small-scale fisheries’ actors increasingly face new challenges, including climate driven shifts in marine resource distribution and productivity. Diversification of target species and fishing locations is a key mechanism to adapt to such changes and maintain fisheries livelihoods. Here we explore environmental and institutional factors mediating ho...
Article
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Incorporating representations of human decision-making that are based on social science theories into social-ecological models is considered increasingly important – yet choosing and formalising a theory for a particular modelling context remains challenging. Here, we reflect on our experiences of selecting, formalising and documenting psychologica...
Preprint
Full-text available
In social-ecological systems (SES) research the conceptualization of social-ecological interactions has advanced from viewing SES as separate social and ecological systems where one system acts as an exogenous “driver” on the other, to conceptualizing them as coupled or linked ecological and social systems (Berkes and Folke 1998), as embedded syste...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between nature and culture in biocultural landscapes runs deep, where everyday practices and rituals have coevolved with the environment over millennia. Such tightly intertwined social–ecological systems are, however, often in the world’s poorest regions and commonly subject to development interventions which effect biocultural div...
Article
Full-text available
Non-state actors play an increasingly important role in environmental policy. Lobbying by interest groups has been associated with policy stagnation and environmental degradation as well as with sustainable governance. However, little is known about how competition between economic and environmental interests influences the ability of governance sy...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological regime shifts from clear to turbid water states in shallow temperate lakes are quite well-investigated phenomena but critical time lags from human interaction with the lake and restoration activities are much less understood. This is a complex challenge for institutions who manage lakes but are usually less familiar with non-linear dynam...
Article
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Faced with accelerating environmental challenges, research on social-ecological systems is increasingly focused on the need for transformative change towards sustainable stewardship of natural resources. This paper analyses the potential of rapid, large-scale socio-political change as a window of opportunity for transformative change of natural res...
Article
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Despite improved knowledge and stricter regulations, numerous fish stocks remain overharvested. Previous research has shown that fisheries management may fail when the models and assessments used to inform management are based on unrealistic assumptions regarding fishers' decision‐making and responses to policies. Improving the understanding of fis...
Article
Institutions are vital to the sustainability of social-ecological systems, balancing individual and group interests and coordinating responses to change. Ecological decline and social conflict in many places, however, indicate that our understanding and fostering of effective institutions for natural resource management is still lacking. We assess...
Article
Full-text available
Harvesting has received most theoretical, empirical, and policy attention towards understanding common-pool resource dilemmas. Yet, pre-harvesting and post-harvesting activities influence harvesting outcomes as well. Broadening the analytical focus beyond harvesting is needed to imagine new ways of theorizing and governing the commons. Fishing—whic...
Article
Full-text available
Development of new biocides has dominated human responses to evolution of antibiotic and pesticide resistance. Increasing and uniform biocide use, the spread of resistance genes, and the lack of new classes of compounds indicate the importance of navigating toward more sustainable coevolutionary dynamics between human culture and species that evolv...
Article
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Abstract Research on social‐ecological systems (SES) has highlighted their complex and adaptive character and pointed to the importance of recognizing their intertwined nature. Yet, we often base our analysis and governance of SES on static and independent objects, such as actors and resources which are not well suited to address complexity and int...
Article
Full-text available
Despite many recent advances in sustainability science, researchers still struggle to address the key characteristics of social-ecological systems that underlie many of today's problems. Complex cross-scale dynamics and tightly interrelated social and ecological processes characterize social-ecological systems (SES). These features lead to constant...
Article
Full-text available
Regime shift modeling and management generally focus on tipping points, early warning indicators, and the prevention of abrupt shifts to undesirable states. Few studies assess the potential for restoring a deteriorating ecosystem that is on a transition pathway toward an undesirable state. During the transition, feedbacks that stabilize the new reg...
Article
Full-text available
The sustainable governance and management of small-scale fisheries (SSF) is challenging, largely due to their dynamic and complex nature. Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a computational modeling approach that can account for the dynamism and complexity in SSF by modeling entities as individual agents with different characteristics and behavior, and s...
Article
Full-text available
The sustainable governance and management of small-scale fisheries (SSF) is challenging, largely due to their dynamic and complex nature. Agent-based modeling (ABM) is a computational modeling approach that can account for the dynamism and complexity in SSF by modeling entities as individual agents with different characteristics and behavior, and s...
Article
Most of the world's poorest people come from rural areas and depend on their local ecosystems for food production. Recent research has highlighted the importance of self-reinforcing dynamics between low soil quality and persistent poverty but little is known on how they affect poverty alleviation. We investigate how the intertwined dynamics of hous...
Article
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...
Article
In social-ecological systems (SESs), social and biophysical dynamics interact within and between the levels of organization at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Cross-scale interactions (CSIs) are interdependences between processes at different scales, generating behaviour unpredictable at single scales. Understanding CSIs is important for impr...
Article
Full-text available
In the Pamir Mountains of Eastern Tajikistan, the clearance of mountain forests to provide fuelwood for an increasing population is a major source of environmental degradation. International development organisations have implemented joint forestry management institutions to help restore once-forested mountainous regions, but the success of these i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Most of the world's poorest people come from rural areas and depend on their local ecosystems for food production. Recent research has highlighted the importance of self-reinforcing dynamics between low soil quality and persistent poverty but little is known on how they affect poverty alleviation. We investigate how the intertwined dynamics of hous...
Article
Full-text available
Social-ecological systems (SES) are complex adaptive systems. Social-ecological system phenomena, such as regime shifts, transformations, or traps, emerge from interactions among and between human and nonhuman entities within and across scales. Analyses of SES phenomena thus require approaches that can account for (1) the intertwinedness of social...
Article
Explanations that account for complex causation, emergence, and social-ecological interdependence are necessary for building theories of social-ecological phenomena. Social-ecological systems (SES) research has accumulated rich empirical u nderstanding of SES; however, integration of this knowledge toward contextualized generalizations, or middlera...
Article
Full-text available
Agent-based modelling (ABM) simulates Social-Ecological-Systems (SESs) based on the decision-making and actions of individual actors or actor groups, their interactions with each other, and with ecosystems. Many ABM studies have focused at the scale of villages, rural landscapes, towns or cities. When considering a geographical, spatially-explicit...
Preprint
Full-text available
In social-ecological systems (SESs), social and biophysical dynamics interact within and between structural levels separated by spatial and temporal scales. Cross-scale interactions (CSIs) are interdependences between processes at different scales, generating behaviour unpredictable at single scales. Understanding CSIs is important for improving SE...
Article
Full-text available
Dynamic models have long been a common tool to support management of ecological and economic systems and played a prominent role in the early days of resilience research. Model applications have largely focused on policy assessment, the development of optimal management strategies, or analysis of system stability. However, modeling can serve many o...
Poster
Full-text available
We present a recent extension from our agent-based simulation model to evaluate multiple ecosystem services related to lake water quality and how they are managed over time.
Article
Price and market structures in fisheries change rapidly, now 40% of seafood is traded internationally and are associated with overharvesting of marine species. We have developed a bio-economic fishery model to address the pressing need of managing the interplay of different markets. We first regard local, multi-level and global markets individually...
Article
This paper proposes an epistemological approach to analyse social-ecological systems from a process perspective in order to better tackle the co-constitution of the social and the ecological and the dynamism of these systems. It highlights the usefulness of rethinking our conceptual tools taking processes and relations as the main constituents of r...
Article
Rising levels of antimicrobial and pesticide resistance increasingly undermine human health and systems for biomass production, and emphasize the sustainability challenge of preserving organisms susceptible to these biocides. In this Review, we introduce key concepts and examine dynamics of biocide susceptibility that must be governed to address th...
Article
Full-text available
The AQUACROSS project was an unprecedented effort to unify policy concepts, knowledge, and management of freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems to support the cost-effective achievement of the targets set by the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020. AQUACROSS aimed to support EU efforts to enhance the resilience and stop the loss of biodiversity of...
Preprint
Full-text available
In the Anthropocene, social processes have become critical to understanding planetary-scale Earth system dynamics. The conceptual foundations of Earth system modelling have externalised social processes in ways that now hinder progress in understanding Earth resilience and informing governance of global environmental change. New approaches to globa...
Article
Full-text available
Today, humans have a critical impact on the Earth system and vice versa, which can generate complex feedback processes between social and ecological dynamics. Integrating human behavior into formal Earth system models (ESMs), however, requires crucial modeling assumptions about actors and their goals, behavioral options, and decision rules, as well...
Article
Adaptation of environmental policies to often unexpected crises is an important function of sustainable governance arrangements. However the relationship between environmental change and policy is complicated. Much research has focused on understanding institutional dynamics or the role of specific participants in the policy process. This paper dra...
Technical Report
Full-text available
We review recent literature on participatory scenario development and analysis within the context of ecosystem services (ESS) and biodiversity research. Beyond direct use for AQUACROSS, this deliverable exemplifies how ecosystem-based management (EBM) in aquatic ecosystems can be supported by participatory scenarios. Following the AQUACROSS Asses...
Article
The concept of a poverty trap—commonly understood as a self-reinforcing situation beneath an asset threshold—has been very influential in describing the persistence of poverty and the relationship between poverty and sustainability. Although traps, and the dynamics that lead to traps, are defined and used differently in different disciplines, the c...
Article
Full-text available
The poverty trap concept strongly influences current research and policy on poverty alleviation. Financial or technological inputs intended to “push” the rural poor out of a poverty trap have had many successes but have also failed unexpectedly with serious ecological and social consequences that can reinforce poverty. Resilience thinking can help...