Tag Archives: social network analysis

Social Networks and Natural Resource Management – New Book!

A new book has just been released that should interest the readers of this blog. The book has been excellently edited by Örjan Bodin and Christina Prell and is entitled “Social Networks and Natural Resource Management: Uncovering the Social Fabric of Environmental Governance” (you  find it at Cambridge or Amazon).

The book supports the growing subfield that uses network analysis to study social-ecological systems (see earlier post on “Trend Spotting”) and features a foreword by Carl Folke and chapters by several of the authors building and maturing this subfield, including: Beatrice Crona, Saudiel Ramirez-Sanchez, Mark Reed, Klaus Hubacek, David Tindall, Howard Harshaw, J. M. Taylor, Ken Frank, Annica Sandström, Marney Isaac, Evans Dawoe, and myself, Henrik Ernstson.

Please also read about and join NASEBERRY, our e-forum for this subfield.

Below follows the content of the book and an e-mail posted by editor Örjan Bodin on the INSNA list, the leading e-forum on social network analysis:

Letter to INSNA

Hi all!

Over the years there have been some discussions on this list about using SNA in studying natural resource management. This “subfield” has grown in interest, and now there is a fair amount of publications on the subject (see e.g. the Ecology & Society special issue ). In addition, this month a book entitled “Social networks and natural resource management: uncovering the social fabric of environmental governance” is released (see Cambridge or Amazon). The book is intended to provide an overview to this emerging field; offering case studies; critical reflections; research guidance; and some introductory material. […]

Kind regards,

Dr. Örjan Bodin

Theme leader / Associate Professor, Stockholm Resilience Centre & Dept of Systems Ecology, Stockholm University

Content of the book

“Social networks and natural resource management: uncovering the social fabric of environmental governance”, Bodin and Prell (eds), 2011, Cambridge University Press:

Foreword Carl Folke

Part I. Introduction:

1. A social relational approach to natural resource governance, Örjan Bodin, Saudiel Ramirez-Sanchez, Henrik Ernstson and Christina Prell;

2. Some basic structural characteristics of networks Christina Prell;

3. Combining social network approaches with social theories to improve understanding of natural resource governance, Beatrice Crona, Henrik Ernstson, Christina Prell, Mark Reed and Klaus Hubacek;

Part II. Case Studies:

4. Barriers and opportunities in transforming to sustainable governance: the role of key individuals, Örjan Bodin and Beatrice Crona;

5. Social network analysis for stakeholder selection, Christina Prell, Mark Reed and Klaus Hubacek;

6. Who and how: engaging well-connected fishers in social networks to improve fisheries management and conservation, Saudiel Ramirez-Sanchez;

7. The effects of social network ties on the public’s satisfaction with forest management in British Columbia, Canada, David Tindall, Howard Harshaw and J. M. Taylor;

8. Social network models for natural resource use and extraction, Ken Frank;

9. Friends or neighbors? Subgroup heterogeneity and the importance of bonding and bridging ties in natural resource governance, Beatrice Crona and Örjan Bodin;

10. The role of individual attributes in the practice of information sharing among fishers from Loreto, BCS, Mexico, Saudiel Ramirez-Sanchez;

11. Transformative collective action: a network approach to transformative change in ecosystem-based management, Henrik Ernstson; (see blog post on this chapter here)

12. Social networks, joint image building and adaptability – the case of local fishery management, Annica Sandström;

13. Agrarian communication networks: consequences for agroforestry, Marney Isaac and Evans Dawoe;

Part III. Summary and Outlook:

14. Social network analysis in natural resource governance – summary and outlook, Örjan Bodin and Christina Prell

Impacts of the 2010 tsunami in Chile

UPDATE: Here is a link to a video to Prof. Castilla’s talk (via @sthlmresilience)

03:34 a.m. February 27th 2010. Suddenly, a devastating earthquake and a series of tsunamis hits the central–south coast of Chile. An earthquake so powerful (8.8 on the moment magnitude scale), that not only is the fifth largest recorded on earth, but also moves the city of Buenos Aires in Argentina, 10 feet (!) to the west.

Juan Carlos Castilla from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, recently visited Stockholm, and gave an update about the tsunamis’ impact on coastal communities. The effects of the tsunami were devastating, and the death toll from the 2-3 tsunamis alone was between 170-200 in the coastal areas of regions VI, VII and VIII. The most noticeable biophysical impact in the region is the elevation of the whole coastal area, ranging from 1.5 to 3 meters. This obviously has had big impacts on the composition of species and vegetation on the coast. The impacts on coastal ecosystems and fisheries is however still unclear.

Based on extensive field studies two months after the disaster, Castilla and his research team noted that only 8-12 (about 6%) of the 200 deceased where from fisherman families. According to Castilla, this low figure can be explained by the existence of strong social networks, and local knowledge passed on from generation to generation. As an artisan fisherman in the study, summarized one shared local saying:

“if an earthquake is so strong you can not stand up: run to the hills”

Luckily, February 27th was a night of full moon. This allowed people to more easily run for protection in the hills. According to Castilla, the combination of full moon, local knowledge, and strong bonds between neighbors, made it possible for members of fishermen communities to rapidly act on the first warning signal: the earthquake. The fact that locals also were taught not to leave the hills after at least a couple of hours after an earthquake, also helped them avoid the following devastating tsunamis. Unfortunately, visitors and tourists in the tsunami affected coastal areas, were not.

Read more:

Marín, A et al. (2010) ”The 2010 tsunami in Chile: Devastation and survival of coastal small-scale fishing communities”, Marine Policy, 2010, 34:1381-1384.

Gelchich, S et al. “Nagivating transformations in governance of Chilean marine coastal resources”, PNAS, 107(39): 16794-16799.

See Henrik’s post just the days after the Chilean earthquake here.

Scale-crossing brokers: new theoretical tools to analyze adaptive capacity

Social network structure for ecosystem governance.

Social network structure matters for adaptive capacity. A key position are 'scale-crossing brokers' that link actors interacting with ecosystem processes at different ecological scales.

Together with colleagues from Stockholm University we have just published an article in Ecology and Society called:

Scale-crossing brokers and network governance of urban ecosystem services: the case of Stockholm

Henrik Ernstson, Stephan Barthel, Erik Andersson and Sara T. Borgström, Ecology and Society 2010: 15 (4), 28.

The article synthesizes empirical studies of urban ecological management in Stockholm. However, it also contributes to the theoretical discussions on adaptive governance of social-ecological systems (e.g. special issue in Global Environmental Change, Folke et al. 2005, Duit and Galaz, 2008). As such, the article is of interest for studies in marine, forest and agricultural systems.

Here I present some key theoretical ideas. (See also blog at Stockholm Resilience Centre.).

Framework for assessing adaptive capacity – linking ecological processess and social network structure

The article builds a theoretical framework that links ecological processes to social network structures to assess the adaptive capacity of ecosystem governance. In effect, the article pushes present theorizations in at least three aspects: 1) spatial complexity, 2) the role of social network structure, and 3) how to handle cross-scale interactions.

1) Spatial complexity

First, it builds a framework to more explicitly account for spatial complexity (and thus the complexity of the ‘resource’ in question). This is primarily done through empirically focus on the ecological processes of seed-dispersal and pollination, which are processes important for the re-generation and resilience of local ecosystems in the fragmented urban landscape of Stockholm.

2) Social network structure as intermediate variable

Second, the paper ‘looks’ beyond individual actors and their direct ties to others (often the case in the literature on for instance ‘bridging organizations’). Instead, actors that interact with ecological processes are seen as embedded in patterns of communication and social relations. This means that the paper acknowledges ‘social network structure’ and how this intermediate variable (not individual, not institution) mediates the agency of single actors, and the performance of the whole network to respond to change.

To capture social dynamics we take the idea from sociology that, just as ecological patches are part of greater scale patterns, social actors are part of emergent social network structures that constrain and shape social dynamics (Wasserman and Faust 1994). […] social network patterns are consequently an outcome of localized interactions between pairs of actors, and no actor can fully control the emergent structure. [This] allows for human agency, but an agency constrained and mediated through the network structure itself (Emirbayer and Goodwin 1994).

3) Cross-scale interactions and scale-crossing brokers

Third, the paper pushes the understanding of what it would mean for a set of identifiable actors to handle cross-scale interactions in social-ecological systems. This is done through developing a network model of how certain actor groups engage in ecological processes at different scales through their social practice, and to theorize a key network position called ‘scale-crossing broker’ (building on Burt’s notion of brokers):

Thus, by accounting for the structure of social networks between actor groups, and how they link to ecological scales, our resulting model consists of actor groups interacting both with each other and with ecosystem processes at different spatial scales, and at spatially separate sites [see figure at top].

A final central aspect of our model is the network position of scale-crossing broker [which is defined] as a social network position that links otherwise disconnected social actor groups which, through their social practices, interact with ecosystem processes at different ecological (and spatial) scales and at different physical sites.

In relation to the discussion on how governance systems can cope with slow changes on one hand, and rapid changes on the other, our answer indicates that we must look for this in the social network structure that links various actors across scales. In that sense, the scale-crossing broker becomes “a crossroad for possibilities” and could facilitate the “switching” between supporting localized social learning processes (in times of slow change), and centralized collective action (in times of rapid change):

Scale-crossing brokers can be seen as agents for nurturing the emergence of a purposeful social network structure, and for switching between a centralized collective action mode and a decentralized mode of social learning among a diverse set of local autonomous actor groups.

Assessing governance systems

As such, the scale-crossing broker becomes an analytical lens to use when assessing empirical governance systems. Upcoming research should thus aim to measure the extent to which you can find scale-crossing brokers in a particular system. Another such assessment tool lies in our conceptualization of a meso-scale in governance in the form of ‘city-scale green networks’ (see figure below).

In conclusion, and apart from its empirical findings not touched upon in this blog, the paper can be seen as bringing new theoretical ideas on how to discuss and analyze social-ecological complexity and adaptive capacity. For more information see the paper itself, the blog-post at Stockholm Resilience Centre, or my own blog In Rhizomia.

The article is part of a special issue in Ecology and Society on social network analysis and natural resource management.

Governance of complex ecological processes

Fig. 4. The figure demonstrates how one could identify the city scale green networks of pollination and seed dispersal in a particular area of Stockholm (suggested here by using digital mapping and ecological network analysis (cf. Andersson and Bodin 2008)). Note how certain local green areas are shared between the two city scale green networks, which give rise to network overlap (purple areas with bold vertical lines in city scale green network 2). Furthermore, it is suggested that midscale managers can take responsibility for particular city scale green networks. Taken as a whole, the figure demonstrates how particular ecosystem services can be viewed as embedded both in the physical landscape and within social networks of local actor groups (managing local green areas), scale-crossing brokers, and municipal to regional actors.

Reading list: Using social network analysis (SNA) in social-ecological studies

The emergent field that uses social network analysis (SNA) to analyze social-ecological systems and problems in natural resource management is growing. For those interested in reading into this field, I thought I share a reading list I am preparing for a PhD course on SNA that I will give at Arizona State University in connection to the Resilience 2011 Conference. The course is only open for ASU students, but for those interested you read more on my blog In Rhizomia [www.rhizomia.net]. If you are interested in discussing network analysis in social-ecological studies, there is, as I have mentioned before on this blog, an e-list called NASEBERRY that you can join (e-mail me at henrik.ernstson[AT]stockholmresilience.su.se and let me know).

Example of literature on SNA in NRM (to be completed and might change)

This is a selective reading list for those interested in starting to use social network analysis (SNA) in social-ecological studies.

The first good empirical study using social network analysis in the social-ecological field is by Schneider et al. (2003) on collaborative networks in estuary management. Together with Örjan Bodin and Beatrice Crona we summarized a set of arguments for the value of SNA for NRM studies in Bodin, Crona and Ernstson (2006), whereas a summary of empirical studies were made later (Bodin and Crona 2009). Christina Prell, Klaus Hubacek, Mark Reed and others have published on stakeholder selection and social learning (Prell et al. 2009), and Saduiel Ramirez-Sanchez has studied fisheries in Mexico (Ramirez-Sanchez and Pinkerton 2009). A good study for those interested in dynamic policy proceses is by Sandström and Carlsson (2008). An interesting application using 2-mode network analysis was recently made by Andrés Marín and Fikret Berkes on small-scale fisheris in Chile (Marín and Berkes 2010). (In an upcoming book edited by Bodin and Prell several of these authors are contributing with chapters, and some of our chapters might replace some of the articles in the final reading list of the course.)

One of the first urban applications using SNA in social-ecological studies was my study of social movements and the protection of urban ecosystems in Stockholm (Ernstson et al. 2008)(See also connection to cultural framing theory and qualitative data (using ANT) in Ernstson and Sörlin (2009).). This has lead to an articulation of “transformative collective action” in an upcoming chapter (Ernstson accepted). Together with collegues, we used social network theory to understand adaptive governance through synthesizing several urban case studies in Stockholm (Ernstson et al. 2010) that could be useful for all interested in multi-scale governance and social learning. An inspiration for me when it comes to urban areas, social movements and social networks has always bin Mario Diani (see e.g. Diani (1992), Diani and McAdam (2003), and Diani and Bison (2004). More urban social-ecological studies using SNA are forthcoming, partly as a result of when I gave this course in 2009 in Cape Town. Students from that .)

The above mentioned references can serve as entry point to the course (those marked with * below are less central), but should be complemented with the following from the SNA field: the short but effective review by Borgatti et al. (2009), the classic by Granovetter (1973), and the very useful SNA textbook and handbook to UCINET by Hanneman and Riddle (2005) (downloable for free, see below). Other good textbooks are Scott’s (2000) and Degenne and Forsé’s (1999). For those getting serious (!), a must-have is still the SNA “cookbook” by Wasserman and Faust (1994). The exact reading list might however still change.

(Those marked with * in the list indicates that you can initially skip these. Those marked with ** have notes at the end).

Bodin, Ö., B. Crona, and H. Ernstson. 2006. Social networks in natural resource management: What is there to learn from a structural perspective? Ecology and Society 11:r2. URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss2/resp2/

Bodin, Ö. and B. I. Crona. 2009. The role of social networks in natural resource governance: What relational patterns make a difference? Global Environmental Change 19:366-374. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2009.05.002

Borgatti, S. P., A. Mehra, D. J. Brass, and G. Labianca. 2009. Network analysis in the social sciences. Science 323:892-895. [Longer pre-publication pdf version can be found on Stephen Borgatti’s homepage here.]

Crona, B. and Ö. Bodin. 2006. WHAT you know is WHO you know? Communication patterns among resource users as a prerequisite for co-management. Ecology and Society 11:7. URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol11/iss2/art7/

**Degenne, A. and M. Forsé. 1999. Introducing Social Networks. Sage Publications, London. [Review for this book can be found here.]

*Diani, M. 1992. The concept of social movement. Sociological Review 40:1-25.

*Diani, M. and I. Bison. 2004. Organizations, coalitions and movements. Theory and Society 33:281-309.

*Diani, M. and D. McAdam, editors. 2003. Social Movements and Networks: Relational Approaches to Collective Action. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Ernstson, H. accepted. Transformative collective action: a network approach to transformative change in ecosystem-based management. Page Ch 11 in Ö. Bodin and C. Prell, editors. Social Networks and Natural Resource Management: Uncovering the Social Fabric of Environmental Governance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Ernstson, H., S. Barthel, E. Andersson, and S. T. Borgström. 2010. Scale-crossing brokers and network governance of urban ecosystem services: The case of Stockholm, Sweden. Ecology and Society:in press.

*Ernstson, H. and S. Sörlin. 2009. Weaving protective stories: connective practices to articulate holistic values in Stockholm National Urban Park. Environment and Planning A 41:1460–1479.

Ernstson, H., S. Sörlin, and T. Elmqvist. 2008. Social movements and ecosystem services – the role of social network structure in protecting and managing urban green areas in Stockholm. Ecology and Society 13:39. URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss2/art39/

Granovetter, M. 1973. The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology 76:1360-1380.

**Hanneman, R. A. and M. Riddle. 2005. Introduction to Social Network Methods. University of California (published in digital form at http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/), Riverside, CA.

Marín, A. and F. Berkes. 2010. Network approach for understanding small-scale fisheries governance: The case of the Chilean coastal co-management. Marin Policy in press.

Prell, C., K. Hubacek, and M. Reed. 2009. Stakeholder Analysis and Social Network Analysis in Natural Resource Management. Society & Natural Resources 22:501-518.

Ramirez-Sanchez, S. and E. Pinkerton. 2009. The impact of resource scarcity on bonding and bridging social capital: the case of fishers’ information-sharing networks in Loreto, BCS, Mexico. Ecology and Society 14:22.

Sandström, A. and L. Carlsson. 2008. The performance of policy networks: the relation between network structure and network performance. Policy Studies Journal 36:497-524.

Schneider, M., J. Scholz, M. Lubell, D. Mindruta, and M. Edwardsen. 2003. Building consensual institutions: networks and the National Estuary Program. American Journal of Political Science 47:143-158.

**Scott, J. 2000. Social Network Analysis. A handbook. 2 edition. Sage Publications, London.

Wasserman, S. and K. Faust. 1994. Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

** As textbook, choose either Scott, or Degenne and Forsé. Hanneman and Riddle can also be used as a textbook, but is also an instructive manual for UCINET.

Download Hanneman and Riddle 2005 here (it’s freeware): http://faculty.ucr.edu/~hanneman/nettext/
Or here.

Short about the SNA course in Phoenix

Using Social Network Analysis in (Urban) Social-Ecological StudiesPhD course 6-8 March, 2011 at Arizona State University. Given by Dr Henrik Ernstson, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town, & Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.

The course will start in January with reading and essay writing and then have three intense days in Phoenix, 6-8 March, 2011. The main aim is to help students to develop their own empirical case studies. I am not sure yet, but I believe the course will only be open to ASU students (having 10 participants).

Through this course you will:
– Learn about social network theory and methods
– Get the chance to develop your own case study
– Attain basic skills in analyzing empirical data with UCINET software
– Discuss how network analysis can be paired with qualitative methods and theories
– Discuss natural resource management and social-ecology from a network perspective

If you are an ASU student, you can apply through sending an e-mail to me (henrik.ernstson[AT]stockholmresilience.su.se).

More information on my blog In Rhizomia (SNA course).

[This post was originally posted on my blog In Rhizomia]

NASEBERRY and 2-mode network analysis of a dynamic co-management process

A network approach to understand co-management, governance and complex social-ecological systems is becoming part of the toolbox used by researchers in our field, now recently in an article by Marín and Berkes (see below). A bunch of us is trying to form a community of researchers to exchange ideas on how to use network analysis in social-ecological studies and to join our NASEBERRY group, you can mail me (Henrik Ernstson, henrik(at)ecology.su.se).

Andrés Marín and Fikret Berkes uses a 2-mode social network approach in their recent article entitled “Network approach for understanding small-scale fisheries governance“. They make the argument that many studies up until now have focussed on collaborative ties, which might miss how conflicts could drive the structuration of social networks:

[S]tudying only collaborative (or facilitating) relationships may show an incomplete representation of co-management. In the Chilean case, co-management appeared as a dynamic equilibrium between opposing forces: facilitation or collaboration and hindrance or conflict. The existence of conflict and power disputes should not be seen as blocking the functioning of the system but as a driver of change and adaptation [1]

NASEBERRY – A community would be great to have

Within the field of social-ecological network studies, several other studies are on their way in both marine, terrestrial and urban ecosystems. Further, at the upcoming international conference on social network analysis (SUNBELT) there is a special session on network analysis and natural resource management (June 2010), and several of us are participating in a book project led by Örjan Bodin and Christina Prell to further develop this field.

It is clear that several reserach groups are forming at various universities in the world, and at all continents. We hope our NASEBERRY group could be a good forum for many others to exchange exciting ideas. The name originates from “Network Analysis in Social-Ecological Studies” but has further borrowed its name from a long-lived evergreen tree growing in the Caribbean. The group include scholars that strive to advance both social, ecological and social-ecological network analysis in social-ecological studies. If you would like to join, please contact me Henrik Ernstson (henrik(at)ecology.su.se).

Naseberry tree<br />

Stay cool. Stay networked. Stay in the (naseberry)tree!


PS. Marín A, Berkes F. (2010; in press) Network approach for understanding small-scale fisheries governance: The case of the Chilean coastal co-management. Marine Policy. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2010.01.007
[1] With reference to: Armitage et al 2007: Adaptive co-management. Univ Brit Col Press.

Video Tutorial on Social Network Analysis Using R

From the Complexity and Social Networks Blog links to video of Steve Goodreau and David Hunter running a tutorial on Social Network Analysis Using R.  They recommend some prior knowledge of R and standard network analytic methods as the tutorial covers:

  • use of exponential random graph (ERG or p*) models for representing structural hypotheses,
  • model parameterization, simulation and inference,
  • degeneracy checking, and goodness-of-fit assessment.

For more information, please see the workshop web page, or our project home page .

Goudreau-Hunter Political Networks 2009 1 of 5 from David Lazer on Vimeo.

Goudreau-Hunter Political Networks 2 of 5 from David Lazer on Vimeo.

Goudreau-Hunter Political Networks 2009 3 of 5 from David Lazer on Vimeo.

Goudrieu-Hunter Political Networks 2009 4 of 5 from David Lazer on Vimeo.

Gooudreau-Hunter Political Networks 2009 5 of 5 from David Lazer on Vimeo.