Understanding how the scientific community influences grasslands’ management decisions – a social network approach
Nita, A., Hartel, T., Cristiana-Maria, P. C., Manolache, S., Miu, V. I. and Rozylowicz, L. (2018). Understanding how the scientific community influences grasslands’ management decisions – a social network approach. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/107468
© the Authors, 2018
Farming landscapes of Europe are vital arenas for social-ecological sustainability because their significant coverage and potential to integrate food production with biodiversity conservation. While the term 'governance' is popular but imprecise, network governance is well defined, and allows the analysis of informal and formal arrangements where independent people or organization work together towards a common goal (Scarlett and McKinney 2016). Even though real progress has been made in conceptualizing and analyzing network governance in landscape conservation, the use of social network analysis remains at an exploratory stage. This is mostly because methodological and epistemological differences between social science and ecology tools, which make the interdisciplinary approaches a challenging task (Popescu et al. 2014). The number of studies focused on management of grasslands in Romania is limited, and the grasslands management is still deficient despite the late legal motions, which most often do not consider the contribution of science to the process. Therefore, one important issue affecting grasslands management is the gap between practice and research, and no current approach captures the level of cooperation among the researchers in the field. As a result, it is necessary to demonstrate that interactions between researchers, policy makers and stakeholders can have a crucial impact on the management quality. This is why, this paper aims at using Social Network Analysis (SNA), a well-developed scientific domain that envisages network theory to analyze relationships between authors and current situation of the overall scientific network (available online on Scopus) compared with the Romanian network. The results illustrate co-authorship networks, invisible authors, academic stars, research groups dealing with grasslands, research topics in clusters, collaboration between domains, most central researchers, bridge researchers, and also interinstitutional cooperation. Thus, understanding the roles of researchers in the field, and also the connections established within a grassland management network may provide information for designing a better management (Plieninger et al. 2015) and will help Romanian scientists to reframe the debate surrounding the conservation of biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes. Our SNA findings will lead to improved collaboration and knowledge exchange between practitioners, scientists, policy makers and stakeholders and therefore will help overcome the main issues caused by Common Agricultural Policies. Because of the biodiversity impacts of contradictory EU policies, it is fundamental for Romanian scientists and authorities to re-evaluate the traditional approaches based exclusively on protection and conservation, and rethink the landscape policy, leading it towards planning and managing by considering the past experiences, research, traditions, and public attitudes. ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
MetadataShow full item record
- ECCB 2018