Reconciling conflict and cooperation in environmental governance: A social network perspective


Most if not all environmental problems entail conflicts of interest. Yet, different actors and opposing coalitions often but certainly not always cooperate in solving these problems. Hence, processes of conflict and cooperation often work in tandem, albeit much of the scholarly literature tends to focus on either of these phenomena in isolation. Social network analysis (SNA) provides opportunities to study cooperation and conflict together.

In this review, we demonstrate how SNA has increased our understanding of the promises and pitfalls of collaborative approaches in addressing environmental problems. The potential of SNA to investigate conflicts in environmental governance, however, remains largely underutilized. Furthermore, a network perspective is not restricted to the social domain. A multilevel social-ecological network perspective facilitates integration of social and environmental sciences in understanding how different patterns of resource access can trigger both cooperation and conflict.


Link to centre authors: Bodin, Örjan, Mancilla García, María
Full reference: Bodin, Ö., García, M.M. and Robins, G., 2020. Reconciling Conflict and Cooperation in Environmental Governance: A Social Network Perspective. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 45.