Designing social learning systems for integrating social sciences into policy processes: Some experiences of water managing.

Collins, Kevin (2014). Designing social learning systems for integrating social sciences into policy processes: Some experiences of water managing. In: Manfredo, M. J.; Vaske, J. J.; Rechkemmer, A. and Duke, E. A. eds. Understanding Society and Natural Resources: Forging New Strands of Integration across the Social Sciences. Amsterdam: Springer, pp. 229–251.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8959-2_11

URL: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-01...

Abstract

Intuitively attractive, integration is widely held to be the key to more sustainable forms of natural resource managing. But while there have been many positive initiatives, researchers and policy-makers are under increasing pressure to integrate natural and social sciences with policy. This pressure arises because of the realization of the complexity of environmental situations characterized by uncertainties, interdependencies and multiple stakeholders. Faced with this complexity, new ways of thinking about and enabling social science and policy integration are required. The importance of framing in natural resource managing is discussed before the links between ideas of integration and systems thinking are explored. Social learning and design of social learning systems are introduced as a conceptual and methodological innovation to enable integration. Previous research on water managing is used to explore some practical issues and findings. The chapter concludes with a short commentary on the constraints and opportunities for designing social learning systems.

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