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Open Access Conceptualizing Resilience in Transformation Processes: Working with Context Resilience and Specifying Interrelated Systems in Bavaria’s Forest and Wood Use Systems

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For a transition process linking previously unrelated systems thinking to be effective, it must mobilize diverse actors in support of transition pathways. In such circumstances, context resilience is a vital concept and an actor-oriented political ecology approach recommended.

This paper explores how “resilience” can be conceptualized in transformation processes. We focus on the German Advisory Council on Global Change’s (WBGU) call for a Great Societal Transformation and on two of the recommended measures, namely substitution and cascade use of wood. In the context of Bavaria’s forest industries, policies to promote cascade use and substitution interact with a complex web of actors, structures, practices, and expectations, best conceived of as two partially interrelated systems of forests and wood use. In these interrelated systems, we recommend use of an actor-oriented political ecology approach that will reveal the politics at work around narratives of resilience. Transformation processes are embedded in specific social, economic, political, ecological and spatial contexts, where resilience can have several meanings. We argue that the concept “context resilience” is needed when researching interrelated systems.
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Keywords: context resilience; interrelated systems; political ecology; resilience; transformation process

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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