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Linking Land Change with Driving Forces and Actors: Four Conceptual Models

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Hersperger, Anna M.; Gennaio, Maria-Pia; Verburg, Peter H.; Bürgi, Matthias
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 15
Date: 2010
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7409
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Subject(s): land tenure and use
Abstract: "Models in land change research are often chosen arbitrarily based on practical rather than theoretical considerations. More specifically, research on land change is often based on a research framework with three crucial elements--driving forces, actors, and land change--in an ad hoc and case-specific configuration. The lack of solid and widely applicable concepts about the conceptual link between these three elements can negatively affect individual research projects and hamper communication and generalizations beyond the individual project. We present four basic models for linking land change with driving forces and actors. These models are illustrated with examples from the research literature. Based on the main characteristics of the models and practical considerations, we propose guidelines for choosing among the four models for specific studies. More generally, we want to raise awareness that land change research is especially demanding with respect to conceptual backgrounds and that conceptual considerations will help improve the scientific quality of individual studies as well as their potential contribution towards generic theories of land change."

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