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E&S Home > Vol. 26, Iss. 2 > Art. 38 > Abstract Open Access Publishing 
Governance in social-ecological agent-based models: a review

Amélie Bourceret, Université Clermont Auvergne, INRAE, UR LISC, Centre de Clermont-Ferrand, Aubière, France; Université Clermont Auvergne, AgroParis Tech, INRAE, VetAgro Sup, Territoires, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
Laurence Amblard, Université Clermont Auvergne, AgroParis Tech, INRAE, VetAgro Sup, Territoires, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
Jean-Denis Mathias, Université Clermont Auvergne, INRAE, UR LISC, Centre de Clermont-Ferrand, Aubière, France

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-12440-260238

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Abstract

Analyzing governance is particularly important for understanding and managing social-ecological systems (SES). Governance systems influence interactions between actors and the ecological system and are in turn influenced by the changes that occur in the actors’ and ecological systems. Agent-based models (ABM) are well adapted for studying SES, for exploring interactions and the resulting collective behavior and for predicting the results of management processes. Considering the potential of ABM to analyze SES, we performed a literature review of the modeling of governance in ABM of SES and highlight the perspectives and challenges surrounding this issue. Our results show in particular that a significant share of the literature is not explicitly based on theories supporting the modeling of governance and actors’ decision making. Regarding the conceptualization of governance, formal and informal institutions are rarely represented compared with diverse modes of governance. The governance modes that are mostly modeled are state interventions whereas the community-based and market-based modes of governance are scarcely represented. Finally, the overview of how interactions between governance and SES are operationalized in ABM highlights two main forms of implementation of governance: variable-based and agent-based implementations. The corresponding sets of models differ in terms of main theoretical background, types of governance modes represented or presence of interactions. Therefore, we recommend moving toward a greater diversity in the representation of governance and toward a better implementation of the dynamics of models, which can be facilitated by the explicit use of theories supporting the modeling of governance and the decision making of actors and by the representation of governance as an agent.

Key words

agent-based model; decision making; governance; review; social-ecological system

Copyright © 2021 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087