Ostrom’s SES Framework: a Meta-Analysis of Community Forests in Mexico

  • Arturo Lara Rivero
  • Eugene Hakizimana


The importance of using Social-Ecological System (SES) framework to improve sustainability in complex social-ecological systems is highly accepted. However, as far as diagnosis in complex SES is concerned, the concept of wholes and parts in complex systems rarely exists in an absolute sense. Normally what are found,  are intermediary structures on a series of levels in ascending order of complexity, each of which has two faces looking in opposite directions; the face turned toward the lower levels, that of an autonomous whole, and the one turned upward, that of a dependent part. In this paper, reffering to three aspects of decomposability of complex systems, and using E. Ostrom SES framework theory and a meta-analysis of 31 case studies of  community forests in Mexico, the importance of opposite directions in the course of explaining variable interactions and configurations to achieve desired system outcomes is explained.