Social-Ecological Resilience: Human Ecology as Theory of the Middle Range

  • Eoin Flaherty


This chapter focuses on questions of operationalisation and measurement, by identifying several points of compatibility between complexity theory and resilience-based human ecology. It argues that a resilience, as opposed to engineering approach, offers a means to bring questions of environment and ecology more clearly into the complexity programme, and to inform a systems-based social science of environment. Researchers operating under the rubric of resilience ecology have adapted many heuristics which greatly assist the task of operationalising the abstract theories of Chaps.  1 and  2, and this approach resolves much of the restrictive ‘optimal state’ assumptions associated with classical systems theory. The chapter considers several useful heuristics to assess system constitution and change, such as the concepts of adaptive cycles, panarchy, regime and identity.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Eoin Flaherty
    • 1
  1. 1.SociologyUniversity College DublinDublinUK

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