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Disturbance, Response, and Persistence in Self-Organized Forested Communities: Analysis of Robustness and Resilience in Five Communities in Southern Indiana

Keywords: disturbance , intentional communities , response , robustness , social-ecological systems

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Abstract:

We develop an analytic framework for the analysis of robustness in social-ecological systems (SESs) over time. We argue that social robustness is affected by the disturbances that communities face and the way they respond to them. Using Ostrom's ontological framework for SESs, we classify the major factors influencing the disturbances and responses faced by five Indiana intentional communities over a 15-year time frame. Our empirical results indicate that operational and collective-choice rules, leadership and entrepreneurship, monitoring and sanctioning, economic values, number of users, and norms/social capital are key variables that need to be at the core of future theoretical work on robustness of self-organized systems.

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