Governing the human-environment relationship: systemic practice

Ison, Ray (2018). Governing the human-environment relationship: systemic practice. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 33 pp. 114–123.




In attending to contemporary breakdown in human-environment relations rarely is a co-evolutionary- dynamics framing employed. Framings in terms of (i) praxis, or theory informed practical action, and (ii) systems and cybernetic intellectual traditions that evoke relational thinking and practice are also rare. This review addresses these deficiencies and highlights innovations warranted by current circumstances based on (i) understanding dualities; (ii) purposeful action in relation to practice; (iii) choosing to be reflexive, (iv) engaging in purposeful systemic praxis for governing and (iv) appreciating the interplay between systemic sensibility, systems literacy and systems thinking in practice capability. Two promising systems praxis trajectories for improving human-environment relations are explored. The case for systems thinking in practice capacity and capability development concludes the review.

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