Executive Summary

  • Janet McIntyre-MillsEmail author
Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)


The aims of this public administration and social policy research problem are to:

  1. 1.

    Explore the structures and processes that enable the better management of food, energy and water through cultural awareness to establish whether collaborative approaches (Cruz et al. 2009; Wear 2012) and user-centred governance of resources enhance wellbeing and appreciation of our vulnerability and interdependency as a basis for resilience.

  2. 2.

    Explore consumption patterns and deepen an understanding of place attachment and how people perceive local challenges and experiences (Hulme 2009; Nazarea 2006; Satre 1976; Vaske 2001) to extend social theory on policy and administration and thus contribute to understanding whether critical systemic thinking could enable participants to think through the implications of their consumption choices.

  3. 3.

    The aim of the book is to develop a contribution to the literature on new architectures for democracy and governance to help adapt to the effects of climate change and contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change (some scholars, such as Christakis and Flanagan, 2010; Faist, 2009 erc) argue that not achieving engagement with diverse people affects the groundswell of democracy that seeks to save the planet from the effects of climate change. In more equal societies people consume less and are less status conscious. Thus the link ‘between greater equality and the prevention of global warming involves limiting consumerism’ (Wilkinson and Pickett 2009, p. 221). According to their research, greater social and economic equality will give the crucial key to reducing the cultural pressure to consume. These are policy challenges locally and regionally that need to be addressed, but this requires balancing individual and community needs to achieve sustainable human rights (Layard 2006; Nussbaum 2006; Faist 2009). Different interest groups have different perceptions and values about the consumption of food, energy and water. The views of social democrats (Held 2004; Wilkinson and Pickett 2009), green democrats (Dryzek 2010), post-colonialists (Atkinson 2002; Beherendt 2007; Bourdieu 1986; Ramphela 2012; Rose 2004),communitarians (Etzioni 2004) and cosmopolitans (Bakker 2007; Bohmann 2004; Beck 2010) have implications on the administration of resources based on the way development, property, personhood and consumption are defined (Adkins 2007). It also has implications for the inclusion of diverse interest groups in policy decisions through appropriate forms of engagement (Romm 2010; Schlozman 2010;Wadsworth 2010).


‘The land is our mother’ is the stewardship philosophy of Aboriginal custodians (Olive Ververbrandts, Peter Turner, Bevin Wilson and Major Sumner, pers. comm.), a stress that being custodians entails respecting the land and ‘recognizing our dependency upon it’.


Place Attachment Wicked Problem Critical Systemic Thinking Interrelated Variable Ongoing Engagement 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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