in: Folke, Carl, et al. 2020."Our Future in the Anthropocene Biosphere: Global sustainability and resilient societies." in Nobel Prize Summit: Our Planet, Our Future. Stockholm, Sweden: Beijer Discussion Paper Series No. 272.
Increased trading with financial instruments, new actors and novel technologies are changing the nature of financial markets making trade faster, more information dense and more globalized than ever. These changes in financial markets are not incremental and linear, but transformative with the emergence of a new "machine-ecology" with intricate system behavior and new forms of systemic financial risks. We argue that the nature of these changes pose fundamentally new challenges to governance as they require policy-makers to respond to system properties characterized by not only complex causality, but also extreme connectivity (i.e. global), ultra-speed (i.e. micro-seconds) and "hyperfunctionality". Governance can fail at the system level if a subsystem performs its function to such an extreme; this could jeopardize the efficiency of the system as a whole. We elaborate in what ways governance scholars can approach these issues, and explore the types of strategies policy-makers around the world use to address these new financial risks. We conclude by pointing out what we perceive as critical research fronts in this domain.
‘One Health’ has emerged over the last decade as a key concept guiding international research and policy in the field of emerging infectious diseases such as zoonoses. This paper explores the emergence of One Health and examines the political, economic and knowledge processes shaping who is doing what, where and why. It begins with a brief overview of the emergence of the concept, and an analysis of the different definitions in play and their discursive construction and consequences. The authors combine quantitative network analysis and interviews with key players in international global public health and veterinary debates and show significant disconnects between the inclusive rhetoric of global policy and scientific practices, highlighting tensions in patterns of global collaboration and their politics. The paper also explores diverse perspectives on the utility of the One Health approach, asking why, given the emerging consensus around it, the approach is gaining relatively little policy and institutional traction. Reasons include power-laden professional hierarchies, institutional lock-in around single-sector approaches, the influence of funding flows and convenient articulations with securitisation agendas in global health.
'Victor Galaz opens a new pathway, critically needed, yet breathtaking. In a thoughtful and inspirational manner, he takes on the challenge of how humanity is to navigate the unprecedented scale, speed and complexity of the Anthropocene. The focus is on the interplay between rapid nonlinear global environmental change and emerging technologies, like engineering the planet, tipping points, epidemic surprise or increased connectivity between financial markets, commodity markets, ecosystem services and underlying technologies. In a truly novel way, Galaz moves governance research to the very front of sustainability science and resilience thinking 'Global Environmental Governance, Technology and Politics' is indeed a groundbreaking contribution, highly recommended!'--Carl Folke, Stockholm University, Sweden
While some of the future impacts of global environmental change such as some aspects of climate change can be projected and prepared for in advance, other effects are likely to surface as surprises -- that is situations in which the behaviour in a system, or across systems, differs qualitatively from expectations. Here we analyse a set of institutional and political leadership challenges posed by 'cascading' ecological crises: abrupt ecological changes that propagate into societal crises that move through systems and spatial scales. We illustrate their underlying social and ecological drivers, and a range of institutional and political leadership challenges, which have been insufficiently elaborated by either crisis management researchers or institutional scholars. We conclude that even though these sorts of crises have parallels to other contingencies, there are a number of major differences resulting from the combination of a lack of early warnings, abrupt ecological change, and the mismatch between decision-making capabilities and the cross-scale dynamics of social-ecological change. Adapted from the source document.
This article explores the links between agency, institutions, and innovation in navigating shifts and large-scale transformations toward global sustainability. Our central question is whether social and technical innovations can reverse the trends that are challenging critical thresholds and creating tipping points in the earth system, and if not, what conditions are necessary to escape the current lock-in. Large-scale transformations in information technology, nano- and biotechnology, and new energy systems have the potential to significantly improve our lives; but if, in framing them, our globalized society fails to consider the capacity of the biosphere, there is a risk that unsustainable development pathways may be reinforced. Current institutional arrangements, including the lack of incentives for the private sector to innovate for sustainability, and the lags inherent in the path dependent nature of innovation, contribute to lock-in, as does our incapacity to easily grasp the interactions implicit in complex problems, referred to here as the ingenuity gap. Nonetheless, promising social and technical innovations with potential to change unsustainable trajectories need to be nurtured and connected to broad institutional resources and responses. In parallel, institutional entrepreneurs can work to reduce the resilience of dominant institutional systems and position viable shadow alternatives and niche regimes.
Unexpected epidemics, abrupt catastrophic shifts in biophysical systems, and economic crises that cascade across national borders and regions are events that challenge the steering capacity of governance at all political levels. This article seeks to extend the applicability of governance theory by developing hypotheses about how different governance types can be expected to handle processes of change characterized by nonlinear dynamics, threshold effects, cascades, and limited predictability. The first part of the article argues the relevance of a complex adaptive system approach and goes on to review how well governance theory acknowledges the intriguing behavior of complex adaptive systems. In the second part, we develop a typology of governance systems based on their adaptive capacities. Finally, we investigate how combinations of governance systems on different levels buffer or weaken the capacity to govern complex adaptive systems. Adapted from the source document.