Welcome to the Library on Governance in Social-Ecological Systems

Click on a blue case marker to explore case details.

What is the SES Library?

Welcome! The SES Library contains descriptions of social-ecological systems (SES)  and coupled infrastructure systems (CIS) from around the world. Each entry in the database contains information about the attributes of the ecological, social, and built environment constituents of a particular system. The quality and level of detail across entries varies widely due to variation in source information, which was gathered by different people in different fields. The collection of data is necessarily incomplete, but represents an ongoing effort of the Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment (CBIE) to gather data to help develop theory. In addition to qualitative descriptions and various data, where available, mathematical models relating to a particular case have been included. When such models are available, this is noted in the case study entry. We provide a series of online tools to visualize the output from models.  Likewise, if there are experimental resources (protocols, software) associated with a case, these are linked to the case study entry.

How to use the SES Library?

There are multiple databases and resources available in the SES Library to support research on SESs and more general Coupled Infrastructure Systems (CIS) of which SES are a special case.  The main database is organized around case studies and provides structured metadata for all cases (e.g. place-based, comparative-/theory-based and data types (e.g. models, coded data, qualitative), and several more specific databases and resources containing specific data resources. To access the main database, click on the SES Library tab and go to case studies.  Many of the other databases and resources can be reached through the case studies.  Databases that contain empirical information extracted by coding secondary sources are located under the Coding Databases tab. For example, coded data on institutional structure in common-pool resource (CPR) settings based on the IAD framework is contained in the CPR database. Specific instructions on the data contents and usage are included with each database. The best way to discover the resources available in the SES Library is to explore a few cases while referencing the tutorials and resources under the User Guide tab.


The development of this database has been supported by the US National Science Foundation grants BCS-0527744, SES-0645789, and GEO-1115054.

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SES Library at Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment is licensed under a
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