Sustaining the ecological, social and economic values of the forests of Southern Tasmania

Gray, Matthew (2006) Sustaining the ecological, social and economic values of the forests of Southern Tasmania. PhD thesis, University of New England.

Thesis M Gray PhD (PDF 4MB)
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This thesis articulates a methodology that can be applied to the analysis and design of underlying organisational structures and processes that will consistently and effectively address ‘wicked problems’ (the most difficult class of problems that we can conceptualise: problems which consist of ‘clusters’ of problems; problems within these clusters cannot be solved in isolation from one another, and include sociopolitical and moral-spiritual issues (Rittel and Webber 1973)) in forestry. This transdisciplinary methodology has been developed from the perspective of institutional economics synthesised with perspectives from ecological economics and system dynamics.

The institutionalist policymaking framework provides an approach for the explicit development of holistic policy. An illustrative application of this framework has been applied to the wicked problem of forestry in southern Tasmania as an example of the applicability of the approach in the Australian context. To date all attempts to seek solutions to that prevailing wicked problem set have relied on non-reflexive, partial and highly reductionist thinking.

A formal assessment of prevailing governance and process arrangements applying to that particular forestry industry has been undertaken using the social fabric matrix. This methodology lies at the heart of the institutionalist policymaking framework, and allows for the systematic exploration of elaborately complex causal links and relationships, such as are present in southern Tasmania.

Some possible attributes of an alternative approach to forest management that sustains ecological, social and economic values of forests have been articulated as indicative of the alternative policy and management outcomes that real-world application of this transdisciplinary, discursive and reflexive framework may crystallise. Substantive and lasting solutions to wicked problems need to be formed endogenously, that is, from within the system. The institutionalist policymaking framework is a vehicle through which this endogenous creation of solutions to wicked problems may be realised.

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ID Code: 41201
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Refereed: No
Keywords: wicked problems, systems thinking, Social Fabric Matrix, Institutional Economics, Ecological Economics
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND MANAGEMENT (050200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ECONOMICS (140000) > OTHER ECONOMICS (149900) > Heterodox Economics (149903)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: University of New England
Deposited On: 11 Apr 2011 00:47
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2011 21:51

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