Governance

The Evolution of Cooperation in Multigenerational Social Dilemmas

Project Summary

We conduct experiments in multi-generational social dilemmas in which we examine the transmission of individual behaviors within and among groups of experimental participants. These experiments allow us to observe the cultural evolution of cooperation over time, including the roles of institutions, communication, and social learning. We conduct computerized experiments in a lab at UC Davis as well as online experiments using Mechanical Turk.

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Sustainable Water Governance in Developing Countries

Project Summary

These projects investigate water governance strategies in developing countries, mostly in Latin America. The studies examine the influence of policies and institutions that promote government decentralization and local water management on water sustainability, social equity and economic efficiency. These projects employ a mixed-methods approach to research that includes survey research, interviews, case study analysis, mapping, participatory research, among others. Current projects are located in Northern Baja California, Mexico, El Salvador and Ecuador.

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Sustainable Viticulture: Practice Adoption and Social Networks

Project Summary

The goal of the study is to understand how local agricultural sustainability programs, also known as "partnerships," in three American Viticultural Associations (Lodi, Napa Valley, San Luis Obispo) influence growers' social networks and adoption of sustainable agriculture practices. The primary research task is a grower survey that asks about practice adoption and program participation; we are also conducting a survey of outreach advisers such as extension advisers and viticultural consultants throughout the state.

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Regional Climate Change Adaptation

Project Summary

The project seeks to improve understanding of the role of institutions in developing adaptive capacity to the near-term effects of climate change in the Lake Victoria region of East Africa. Key adaptive capacity issues in the Lake Victoria region include disruptions to agricultural productivity, altered flood regimes, threats to the viability of fisheries, and shifts in plant and animal habitat suitability. Within the past few decades, numerous collaborative institutions have emerged to help address these adaptive capacity issues.

Local Government Policy

Project Summary

This is an umbrella project for several different research efforts focused on the adoption and implementation of local government environmental policies. A central theoretical focus of this project is how local government institutions such as the structure of city councils and the mayor/city manager office mediates the influence of interest groups on policy decisions. We are also interested in how the environmental and energy policies we study are connected to the broader of idea of sustainability.

Integrated Regional Water Management

Project Summary

Integrated Regional Water Management Planning (IRWMP) in California is the product of a state funded grant program, which requires diverse water management interests to participate in the collaborative development of regional water management plans in order to qualify for grant funding. Broadly, our study of IRWMP in the San Francisco Bay Area seeks to identify factors that contribute to success in collaborative, multi-stakeholder planning processes.

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Governing Complex Commons: Policy Networks and the Local Ecology of Games

Project Summary

This research analyzes the interaction among policy actors as they seek solutions to to complex policy problems in multiple "governance" games. We study the local ecology of games in the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta (CA), Tampa Bay (FL), and the Parana Delta of Argentina. The research involves surveys of policy stakeholders and statistical models of policy networks. We hope to understand the factors associated with cooperation, adaptive capacity, and resilience in these complex systems.

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Extension 3.0: Knowledge Networks for Sustainable Agriculture

Project Summary

The overarching goal of this proposal is to understand the structure and dynamics of sustainable agriculture knowledge networks in California. We will analyze these networks using survey methods, cognitive maps, and computational social science. In addition to answering basic research questions, we will develop best management practices for using network concepts in agricultural education and outreach programs.

Collaborative Environmental Policy

Project Summary

This project focuses on the evolution of stakeholder cooperation in the context of collaborative environmental policy in several different settings. Collaborative policy settings studied included the National Estuary Program, Integrated Regional Water Management, and regional land-use and transportation planning.