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The context in which many self-governing commons systems operate will likely be significantly altered as globalization processes play out over the next few decades. Such dramatic changes will induce some systems to fail and subsequently transform rather than merely adapt. Despite this foreseeable trend, the research on globalization-induced transformations of social-ecological systems (SESs) is still underexplored. This study seeks to help fill this gap by exploring patterns of transformation in SESs and the question of what factors help explain the persistence of cooperation in the use of common-pool resources through transformative change. Analyzing 89 forest commons in South Korea that experienced such transformations, we find the following: 1) two broader types of transformation are observed, cooperative and non-cooperative; 2) two properties of social connectedness within forest organization, the number of user groups (villages) and the ratio of cross-institutional links, are associated with the extent to which user groups maintain cooperation through transformation; 3) the ratio of cross institutional links is positively associated with cooperative transformations while number of user groups is negatively associated with the same outcome; and 4) biophysical conditions of the location of user groups may have affected the type of social connectedness that developed in the region.
All are welcome at this Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity brown bag featuring David Yu. Refreshements will be served.
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