"Generality of mis-fit''? The real-life difficulty of matching scales in an interconnected world

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

A clear understanding of processes at multiple scales and levels is of special significance when conceiving strategies for human--environment interactions. However, understanding and application of the scale concept often differ between administrative-political and ecological disciplines. These mirror major differences in potential solutions whether and how scales can, at all, be made congruent. As a result, opportunities of seeking "goodness-of-fit'' between different concepts of governance should perhaps be reconsidered in the light of a potential "generality of mis-fit.'' This article reviews the interdisciplinary considerations inherent in the concept of scale in its ecological, as well as administrative-political, significance and argues that issues of how to manage "mis-fit'' should be awarded more emphasis in social-ecological research and management practices. These considerations are exemplified by the case of reindeer husbandry in Fennoscandia. Whilst an indigenous small-scale practice, reindeer husbandry involves multi-level ecological and administrative-political complexities---complexities that we argue may arise in any multi-level system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAMBIO
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)1-11
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Mar 2016
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed