Scaling and Governance Conference 2010

The aim of conference is to discuss different perspectives on scaling and governance issues. The starting point is that scaling and governance deserve more attention as a combination, not just in separate studies. We look at this integration as a major challenge for both the social, economic and the natural sciences. In order to get to transdisciplinarity, that is to say, cooperation between scientists from different disciplines as well as policy makers and citizens, vigorous communication between scientists from the natural science and the humanities is needed.

There are two distinct vocabularies: one with regard to scaling and one with regard to governance. With regard to scaling there has been a shift towards including the human factor as integral part of the system, which materialized into theories related to social ecological systems, and new methodologies that emphasized stakeholder participation, transdisciplinarity, and cross-scale interactions. With regard to governance there has been a paradigm shift from thinking in terms of state steering and governmental practices towards the analysis of multi-actor, multi-level and multi-sector governance. Also from economics there is increasing interest in governance and institutional issues. These shifts have a number of commonalities. They acknowledge the growing importance of multi-level interactions; they stress the need for enlarged transdisciplinarity, and address the need for increased stakeholder participation.

We invite participants of the conference to discuss integrative concepts, methodologies, and case studies related to scaling and governance issues in complex land systems. Anticipated outcomes of the conference include an international research agenda and recommendations for scale-sensitive governance approaches.

Conference Themes
Theme 1: Ecosystem Modeling and Scales
1.1 Advances in interdisciplinary research on agent-environment modeling at different scales
1.2 What lessons can be learned: comparing disciplines and approaches
1.3 Pluralism, integration and effective theory building in scale research

Theme 2: The Politics of Scale
2.1 The relationships between political and economic institutions, scale, governance responses and research
2.2 Governance mismatches within and between scales and unintended consequences
2.3 Scale jumping and adaptive management

Theme 3: Scaling in Human-Environmental Processes

3.1 The spatial-temporal patterning of human and environmental interactions
3.2 Observation techniques: how to account for different scales in natural and social research?
3.3 Scalability: how to scale-up, scale-down, scale-out, and scale-in methods and findings?

Theme 4: Integrating Scaling and Governance Concepts
4.1 System perspectives: how to integrate different systems dynamics in nature, the economy, jurisdiction, politics, culture and other domains of society
4.2 Network perspectives: globalization and the emergence of human-environment networks
4.3 ‘Heterarchy’ as the third way?

Theme 5: Towards Scale Sensitive Governance Approaches
5.1 Contributions to the debates on sustainable development of the earth system (e.g. climate change, biodiversity, energy consumption, water resource management, and food security)
5.2 Scale as a negotiated outcome
5.3 Decision-support systems
5.4 Education and training

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