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2023 | Book

Governance of Social Tipping Points

Resilience of the European Union’s Periphery vis-à-vis Migration, Climate Change and War

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About this book

This monograph assesses the intersections between social tipping points (STP), a relatively understudied social-ecological concept, and various public policy concepts, such as governance, state capacity and resilience of the state and non-state actors, all within the context of the EU Eastern and Southern periphery. This unique approach is subsequently embodied in the newly created conceptual framework of how the STPs are governed and analyzed using three case studies. The goal is to examine how various state and non-state actors (transnational, private, and local) have managed to navigate the STPs triggered by migration, climate change, and geopolitics. The multi-level governance of STPs is studied within the context of the EU periphery, thus spatial and geographical determinants of the resilience are analyzed as well.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. Introduction
Abstract
The introductory chapter establishes the puzzle the book aims to address, namely how does the EU’s eastern and southern periphery cope with tipping points resulting from migration, climate change, and war and how is the governance of social tipping points and resilience against them geographically conditioned given the core-periphery EU dichotomy. An argument in brief is laid down. The chapter concludes by providing the basic outline of the book.
Jakub Szabó, Paula Puškárová, Mikuláš Černota
Chapter 2. Tipping Points: A Survey of the Literature
Abstract
The chapter is devoted to surveying the literature on a still relatively understudied concept of social tipping points. In this chapter, we thus assess the origins of the concept and its usage in environmental and social sciences. We then point to differences and intersections of how these two broad fields of study understand and utilize the concept. A definition of social tipping points and their defining characteristics used throughout the book are presented. The definition follows up the literature on social–ecological systems with the aim of introducing interdisciplinarity into the study of social tipping point governance. Lastly, a visual depiction of social tipping points in social–ecological systems is introduced.
Jakub Szabó, Paula Puškárová, Mikuláš Černota
Chapter 3. Governance of Social Tipping Points and Resilience: A Stakeholder Agency Perspective
Abstract
In the chapter, a theoretical link between the concepts of governance, state capacity, and resilience is presented. Adopting a state-centric view of governance and resilience, it is argued that the state remains at the forefront of addressing the impacts and adverse consequences stemming from social tipping points. What determines the success of the state in addressing social tipping points is according to our framework the state capacity, which consists of five critical subcomponents (i.e., administrative, legal, infrastructural, fiscal, and military). We then focus on the concept of resilience, which represents the flip side of the state capacity and is thus pivotal in determining the successful governance of social tipping points. Lastly, adopting a multilevel stakeholder agency perspective, we hypothesize about the role of non-state actors (transnational, private, and local) in governing social tipping points. A special emphasis is placed on the European Union as a transnational actor sui generis due to the integration of core state powers.
Jakub Szabó, Paula Puškárová, Mikuláš Černota
Chapter 4. Spatial Determinants of Tipping Point Governance: Beyond Stakeholder Agency
Abstract
Moving beyond the stakeholder agency perspective, it is argued in this chapter that the existing core–periphery imbalances within the European Union mirror themselves into the unequal distribution of resilience capacities. It is shown empirically that there is an association between the capacity to be resilient and the level of economic development across the European Union member states to the detriment of its eastern and southern periphery. Building on the literature on regional economic resilience, the main determinants of the geographical distribution of resilience are identified. In particular, we focus on compositional, collective, and contextual factors. It is then shown that the decisive structural drivers of the lack of resilience in the European Union’s periphery are particularly the economic diversity and knowledge capacity, social capital, and trust, as well as the institutional quality.
Jakub Szabó, Paula Puškárová, Mikuláš Černota
Chapter 5. Governing Social Tipping Points in the EU’s Periphery: A Conceptual Framework and Methodology
Abstract
This chapter summarizes the theoretical concepts presented in previous chapters and introduces the conceptual framework of multilevel governance of social tipping points in social–ecological systems within the European Union’s (EU’s) periphery. Based on the deductive-nomological conceptual framework, an empirical strategy and methodology are devised. We then formulate the research question and research goals and state the hypotheses. To answer them, we employ a multi-case research design with three cases of potential social tipping points in the EU periphery, each with a different trigger: migration, climate change, and geopolitics.
Jakub Szabó, Paula Puškárová, Mikuláš Černota
Chapter 6. Resilience in Migration, Climate Change, and Geopolitics: A Case of the EU’s Periphery
Abstract
The chapter summarizes case study reports of three social tipping points with different triggers: migration, climate change, and geopolitics. For the migration-triggered tipping point, we assess the burning of the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. As a social tipping point with climate change as a trigger, we analyze the bark beetle epidemic in the Slovak Tatra Mountain. The last case study focuses on the war in Ukraine and the ensuing refugee crisis on the Polish–Ukrainian border. Based on the cross-case conclusions from these three case study reports, we reflect our theoretical conceptual framework. It is concluded that while state capacity and resilience are critical in addressing social tipping points, the collaboration of non-state actors (transnational, private, and local) with their respective capacities and resilience can mitigate some of the consequences resulting from social tipping points and help the state to prevent yet another tipping point from occurring.
Jakub Szabó, Paula Puškárová, Mikuláš Černota
Chapter 7. Resilience of the EU’s Periphery vis-à-vis Social Tipping Points: Policy Recommendations
Abstract
The final section provides policy recommendations for dealing with social tipping points from the perspective of the EU periphery. First, we recommend not focusing on governing social tipping points per se, but rather on governing their side effects. Second, we recommend strengthening state capacity in all of its aspects. Third, we recommend that the state and society as a whole invest more resources into strengthening the resilience of transnational, private, as well as local non-state actors as it also enhances their respective capacities and resilience. Fourth, we advise pooling more resources into building a more resilient EU. Fifth, it is suggested that not only is the periphery dependent on the well-functioning EU, but the EU’s resilience also requires a fortified periphery given the deep interconnectedness between the geographical core and periphery. Lastly, we recommend that policymakers and key stakeholders alter their methodological starting points from purely social ones to ones taking into account the whole inter-dynamics of social–ecological systems.
Jakub Szabó, Paula Puškárová, Mikuláš Černota
Chapter 8. Conclusion
Abstract
In times when resilience in social and economic, geopolitical, green, and digital dimensions was introduced as an official compass for EU policymakers (EC, 2020a), the concept of resilience as the ability to withstand and cope with endogenous as well as exogenous challenges while undergoing transitions in a sustainable, fair, and democratic manner, secured its prominence in the EU policymaking. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly unfolded the EU’s need to enhance its resilience. This becomes especially important for the EU’s southern and eastern periphery as well, arguably the most fragile parts of the EU. The ambition of this monograph was thus to fill the gap in the literature, which tends to overlook the EU’s peripheral countries in the east and south in terms of their resilience building against the abrupt nonlinear changes erupting in one system (e.g., climate) but having impacts beyond the system’s boundaries (e.g., society, economy, and politics). In order to analyze the resilience of the peripheral EU countries, we employed an interdisciplinary approach, combining theoretical intersections from the social tipping point literature, public policy, regional economic resilience, and European studies. This allowed us to shed light on two, still relatively understudied areas in the resilience literature – social tipping points and EU peripheral studies – and present a conceptual framework of governance of tipping points in the EU periphery. The conceptual framework links together the concepts of social tipping points, governance, state capacity, state resilience, and interactions between the state and non-state actors. Moreover, the multilevel governance approach is also complemented with a coherent description of the structural factors contributing to lower levels of resilience to the detriment of the EU periphery in the east and south. Subsequently, the conceptual framework is tested against three case studies, each social tipping point with a different trigger (migration, climate change, and geopolitics) and each social tipping point situated in a different EU peripheral country (Greece, Slovakia, and Poland). Such a multiple case study research design ensures greater robustness and validity of the results.
Jakub Szabó, Paula Puškárová, Mikuláš Černota
Metadata
Title
Governance of Social Tipping Points
Authors
Jakub Szabó
Paula Puškárová
Mikuláš Černota
Copyright Year
2023
Electronic ISBN
978-3-031-47413-2
Print ISBN
978-3-031-47412-5
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-47413-2