Systems Theory and Resilience Thinking
Learn about qualitative and quantitative approaches to systems theory, and how these approaches can be applied to analyze social-ecological systems. Regime shifts, the reorganization of the structure and processes shaping a social-ecological system, are explored from a theoretical and practical perspective, including investigation of a set of case studies.
Resilience thinking uses systems concepts to understand slow and abrupt changes. Key resilience concepts will be introduced. Students will be introduced to theoretical concepts, methods for analysis, and conduct group and individual research projects that utilize these concepts and methods.
The course consists of the following parts:
1. Systems thinking (4 hp)
2. Regime shifts and transformation (5 hp)
3. Resilience thinking (6 hp)
The course will mix and combine formal lectures, seminars, field observations, and group- and individual project work. Most of these activities will be compulsory.
It is expected that the student, after taking the course, will be able to 1) understand basic systems concepts and be able to apply basic systems analysis approaches (part 1), 2) understand the concept of regime shifts and be familiar with a number of examples of regime shifts (part 2), 3) define and apply concepts of resilience, adaptive cycle and panarchy to social-ecological systems (part 1,2 & 3), and 4) apply the concepts practically by conducting case studies based on existing methods and tools (part 3).
The different parts (1-3) will be examined separately. Assessments will be mostly based on project reports (written and verbal) produced in individual- and/or group work.
Örjan Bodin (Part 1 and overall)
Garry Peterson (Part 2)
Maria Tengö (Part 3)
ScheduleThe schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
Course literatureNote that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
Meadows, D. Thinking in Systems - A primer. Chelsea Green Publishing 2008.