The working group Social-Ecological Transformations in Mountains focuses on analysing the challenges for mountain societies in the current “multiple crises” (climate change, globalization, technological changes, economic and demographic crisis, etc.) and the requirements for transformations towards sustainability. We apply a multi-methodological approach, combining quantitative, qualitative and ethnographic research with participatory and transdisciplinary methods. Political ecology and a holistic view of the socio-ecological systems form the basis of the theoretical approach.
First, we want to analyse how GLOBAL DRIVERS are affecting mountain populations and at the same time encourage changes. Second, being aware of the global DYVERSITY of mountain social-ecological systems, we apply an (international) comparative approach, learning from best-practice examples and highlighting the strengths of mountain societies and their creative ways of adapting to adverse conditions. We will choose case studies in the Global North and the Global South. And, third, we will look closely at the different DYNAMICS and RESPONSES of mountain societies in energy and mobility transitions, exploring social innovations, forms of community resource management, socio-ecological conflicts, and local experiences. We will take a special interest in marginalised and vulnerable social groups (cultural minorities, indigenous communities, LGTBQ, etc.), including a critical social position and an inclusive intention.
Our principal thematic foci are:
• Social innovations
• Community resource management
• Socio-ecological conflicts
• Energy transition
• Mobility transition
• Transdisciplinary research
• Mountain and gender perspective