Socio-Ecological Dynamics in the Lower River Nyando Basin, Kenya


Dr. Lena Bloemertz

Research Area:



Society-nature relations are regarded as being in crisis (e.g. climate change). In order to deal with this crisis there is a call for interdisciplinarity in science. Therefore this thesis reflects on the potential goal of interdisciplinarity and on ways of analysing, representing and managing society-nature relations.

The first part of the thesis argues for a more conscious use of vocabulary and concepts in order to improve the way we reason about society-nature relations. Among others it reflects about the nature-society divide and different understandings of dynamics in natural and social science. Following that, the concepts of risk and resilience, prevalent in natural and social science, are discussed.

The second part of the thesis concentrates on the application of the gained insights to the analysis of social-ecological relations and dynamics in the Kano Plain (Kenya). A focus will be on the influence of gradual changes and sudden extreme events (floods).

The final part will reflect on the manageability of society-nature relations and the role of existing theories to understand what is happening and to guide us in decision making.