introducing the importance of vertical and horizontal linkages. It summarizes a variety of ways in which larger scale institutions can interfere with or support smaller scale ones. This part deals with some of the same issues as the chapter by Young, except that Young approaches the problems by linking the national level to the global, whereas this chapter takes a perspective from the bottom up. The second section of the chapter proceeds to identify some institutional forms that facilitate cross-scale resource and environmental management, noting that there is as yet no accepted typology of these emerging cross-scale linking institutions. Some of these institutions are captured by the catch-all term, co-management. However, the chapter argues, this term hides complexity and is inadequate to encompass the full range of cross-linking institutions. As well, there is a need to move beyond the static analysis inherent in looking merely at institutional forms; we need to investigate processes of institutional change.

Hence, the third section focuses on the dynamics of cross-scale institutional linkages and the issue of scale. It develops the argument that the adaptive management approach may be useful in building a theory of cross-scale institutional linkages. A key concept is resilience, used here to refer to the ability of a system to absorb perturbations and to build capacity for self-organization, learning, and adaptation. Resilience thinking is a useful tool to link social systems and natural systems (Berkes and Folke, 1998). It helps to investigate scale issues not only from the institutional point of view per se, but also in regard to the fit between institutional scales and the ecosystem that generates resources at multiple scales (Folke et al., 1998).

Given that cross-scale institutional linkages have not been explored extensively, this chapter offers not a definitive review, but some concepts and hypotheses that may serve as a starting point for further research and theory development. The research agenda that comes out of this chapter is at an early rather than a mature stage.

The scope of the chapter is local to national, focusing on the link between local institutions and higher level government entities. Various cross-scale management issues involving different levels of government, for example, between federal- or state-level agencies or between the European Union and its member states, are outside the scope of this chapter. Also beyond the scope is the growing literature in political science and public administration on the relationships among national, state, and local levels of government.


The commons literature is full of examples of the impacts of the state on local institutions. Some of the mechanisms or processes by which higher level institutions impact local institutions include centralization of decision making; shifts in systems of knowledge; colonization; nationalization of resources; in-

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