Approaching sustainability problems through DPSIR

A recent paper by Ness, Anderberg and Olsson in the Geoforum 41(3) issue presents a conceptualization approach for sustainability problems by combining the Drivers–Pressure–State–Impact–Response (DPSIR) model with a multi-level institutional framework. The paper illustrates the approach with the case of Baltic Sea eutrophication from Swedish agriculture to exemplify the approach more concretely.

The main strenght and novelty in the model is that it combines the causal style of the DPSIR analysis with a multi-level consideration, e.g. considering national, regional and local analysis, with the larger granularity behavior emerging for the lower-level layers, eventually reaching the level of analysis of individual actors (e.g. farmers). This kind of analysis has the potential to be used as input to build simulation systems in which the aggregated behaviour of individual agents can be simulated and the effects contrasted with the models at the upper layer.


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