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The companion modelling approach initially was conceived and tested at a local level because of the focus on resource users. Based on the premise that different stakeholders involved in resource management operate with different areas of reference and time scales in mind, the approach focuses on the representation of this diversity in its tools and in the form of coordination workshops (d’Aquino et al. 2002b; Étienne et al. 2008c; Le Page et al. 2001). Like many participatory approaches developed at the local level, the approach quickly confronted issues posed by the institutionalization of participatory processes (Pimbert 2004): the institutional integration of collective learning developed at a local level, taking into account stakeholders not present at the local level, and the need to interact directly with regulators and decision-makers at higher levels. A study group was formed within the ComMod network, in parallel to the ADD-ComMod project, to discuss the novel challenges raised by the application of companion modelling to several organizational levels of action and decision and by changing scales in a companion modelling approach.
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More precisely, Dessalles et al. (2007) stated that the macro-level emerges from the micro-level if the micro-level is constituted by interacting elements whose properties or dynamics are described in a certain theory D, generating a property or global dynamic at the macro-level that can be described by another theory D’, such that D’ is irreducible to D, in other words, there is no possible way of calculating the elements of D’ from the elements of D.
The exception is geography, which uses spatial representations in the form of successive, hierarchical levels of organization, and geographic objects dependent on these organizational levels.
More overarching levels sometimes mobilize processes of cognitive hegemony that impose certain models or types of management (Molle 2008). However, this hierarchical authority cannot adequately take into account the complexity of relations between levels as is shown by the difference between how a rule thought out at a higher level is reinterpreted at a local level (Urwin and Jordan 2008).
In the rest of the text, we only will refer to the ‘vertical’ dimension to simplify the discussion. However, at each use of the term, we imply that a ‘horizontal’ dimension to the structure of action exists in addition to the ‘vertical’, particularly as these two dimensions are themselves very artificial.
Representatives of level n –1 participate in discussions at level n.
For example, in the SosteniCAP case: the collective development of work on the question of mobilizing numerous stakeholders; seminars presenting outcomes to regional decision-makers relying on this work.
Game outcomes were presented also in different arenas in the Domino Senegal study.
- The Companion Modelling Approach: Dealing with Multiple Scales and Multiple Levels of Organization
Christophe Le Page
- Springer Netherlands
- Chapter 11