Regime shifts in Balinese Subaks
Lansing, J. Stephen
Cheong, Siew Ann
Chew, Lock Yue
Cox, Murray P.
Ringo Ho, Moon-Ho
Arthawiguna, Wayan Alit
Date of Issue2014
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Ecosystems may undergo nonlinear responses to stresses or perturbations. Hence there can be more than one stable state or regime. It is not known whether alternate regimes also occur in coupled social-ecologica-l systems, in which there is the potential for intricate feedbacks between natural and social processes. To find out, we investigated the management of rice paddies by Balinese farmers, where ecological processes impose constraints on the timing and spatial scale of collective action. We investigated responses to environmental and social conditions by eight traditional community irrigation systems (subaks) along a river in Bali to test the intuition that older and more demographically stable subaks function differently than those with less stable populations. Results confirm the existence of two attractors, with sharply contrasting patterns of social and ecological interactions. The transition pathway between the two basins of attraction is dominated by differences in the efficacy of sanctions and the ability of subaks to mobilize agricultural labor.
© 2014 Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. This paper was published in Current Anthropology and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/675429]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.