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01.01.2015 | Sonderheft 1/2015 Open Access

Ambio 1/2015

Anticipatory governance for social-ecological resilience

Ambio > Sonderheft 1/2015
Emily Boyd, Björn Nykvist, Sara Borgström, Izabela A. Stacewicz


Anticipation is increasingly central to urgent contemporary debates, from climate change to the global economic crisis. Anticipatory practices are coming to the forefront of political, organizational, and citizens’ society. Research into anticipation, however, has not kept pace with public demand for insights into anticipatory practices, their risks and uses. Where research exists, it is deeply fragmented. This paper seeks to identify how anticipation is defined and understood in the literature and to explore the role of anticipatory practice to address individual, social, and global challenges. We use a resilience lens to examine these questions. We illustrate how varying forms of anticipatory governance are enhanced by multi-scale regional networks and technologies and by the agency of individuals, drawing from an empirical case study on regional water governance of Mälaren, Sweden. Finally, we discuss how an anticipatory approach can inform adaptive institutions, decision making, strategy formation, and societal resilience.
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