Conceptualizing power to study social-ecological interactions
Boonstra, W. J.
My aim is to conceptualize power using social science theory and to demonstrate why and how the concept of power can complement resilience studies and other analyses of social-ecological interaction. Social power as a scientific concept refers to the ability to influence both conduct and context. These two dimensions of power (conduct and context) can be observed by differentiating between various sources of power, including, for example, technology or mental power. The relevance of the conceptualization of power presented here is illustrated with the example of fire as a source of social-ecological power. I conclude by discussing how attention to power can help to address issues of social justice and responsibility in social-ecological interactions.
Article about this paper at the Stockholm Resilience Center web page: Tame the flames, rule the world