Negotiated Complexity in Ecosystem Services Science and Policy Making

Hans Keune, Nicolas Dendoncker

    Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    It's a long way from scientific knowledge to concrete policy action. Along the way many decisions have to be made. A lot of these decisions relate to setting priorities. With regard to policy uptake of scientific knowledge on ecosystem services, the need for an integrated decision-making framework is crucial. Framing complexity is a crucial aspect of any ecosystem services approach: How do we deal with ecological and social complexity? The complexity to be taken into account and the approach for dealing with that complexity are part of context-specific negotiation among actors involved in the process of investigation and interpretation, and as such becomes negotiated complexity. We propose an analytical deliberative multicriteria decision-support framework for ecosystem services decision making. We illustrate the practicalities of the framework by referring to its application in the field of environmental health in Belgium, and we reflect on the opportunities for a similar approach regarding ecosystem services. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEcosystem Services: Global Issues, Local Practices
    EditorsSander Jacobs, Nicolas Dendoncker, Hans Keune
    Place of PublicationBoston
    PublisherElsevier Inc.
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)978-0-12-419964-4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


    • Negotiated complexity
    • multicriteria decision support
    • ecosystem services
    • analytical deliberative approach
    • diversity tolerance
    • traditional-alternative paradigms

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