Exploring Environmental Change Using an Integrative Method


The traditional approach for diagnosing & managing environmental change has been to reduce complexity in an attempt to identify simple relationships. Such a view presupposes that a problem setting can be clearly bounded & dealt with through appropriate remedial action. It tends to reject the complex real world as a diagnostic force because of its inherent unpredictability. This text argues that an acceptance of this uncertainty should be the starting point for environmental diagnostics & will draw upon "complex systems" thinking to introduce a policy-relevant integrative method. This conveys how existing intellectual resources can be exploited to explore environmental decision issues without resorting to such devices as "meta-methods" or "meta-disciplines." A number of techniques are introduced from different disciplines such as social science, agricultural & environmental studies, systems thinking & modeling, which have been drawn together in an integrated method. This is primarily related to an ongoing case study into agricultural practice & the degradation of soil & water resources in the Peloponnese region of Greece. Other case studies, including land-fill & environmental nuisance, are introduced.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Mark Lemon
  • Roger Seaton
  • Nenia Blatsou
  • Paul Jeffrey
  • Ian Black
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Amsterdam
Publication year:
  • 1999


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