A Research Agenda for Environmental Management
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A Research Agenda for Environmental Management

Edited by Kathleen E. Halvorsen, Chelsea Schelly, Robert M. Handler, Erin C. Pischke and Jessie L. Knowlton

The understanding of global environmental management problems is best achieved through transdisciplinary research lenses that combine scientific and other sector (industry, government, etc.) tools and perspectives. However, developing effective research teams that cross such boundaries is difficult. This book demonstrates the importance of transdisciplinarity, describes challenges to such teamwork, and provides solutions for overcoming these challenges. It includes case studies of transdisciplinary teamwork, showing how these solutions have helped groups to develop better understandings of environmental problems and potential responses.
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Chapter 3: Power within and beyond the state: understanding how power relations shape environmental management

Jesse Abrams, Diana Córdoba, Roman V. Sidortsov, Chelsea Schelly and Hugh S. Gorman


As a fundamentally social activity, environmental management is inescapably bound to questions of power. This chapter reviews some of the diverse ways in which power relations come to bear on the decisions, processes and outcomes associated with environmental management. The review considers power as expressed through formal governmental institutions, power as embedded in social relationships and power as a medium and outcome of civil society practices. Starting from a distinction between corrective and persuasive influence, we explore the application of theories of power to questions of environmental management, considering issues such as inequality in access to environmental goods and exposure to environmental harms and the role of state and non-state actors and organizations in perpetuating and resisting domination. We draw upon insights from the interdisciplinary field of political ecology to illustrate applications of these concepts to problems of environmental management. In addition, we consider how the explicit consideration of power in its myriad forms can inform and improve transdisciplinary research and result in more just and effective outcomes.

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