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Emily Boyd

Emily Boyd

Professor, Docent

Emily Boyd

Towards a bridging concept for undesirable resilience in social-ecological systems


  • André Z. Dornelles
  • Emily Boyd
  • Richard J. Nunes
  • Mike Asquith
  • Wiebren J. Boonstra
  • Izabela Delabre
  • J. Michael Denney
  • Volker Grimm
  • Anke Jentsch
  • Kimberly A. Nicholas
  • Matthias Schröter
  • Ralf Seppelt
  • Josef Settele
  • Nancy Shackelford
  • Rachel J. Standish
  • Genesis Tambang Yengoh
  • Tom H. Oliver

Summary, in English

Non-technical summaryResilience is a cross-disciplinary concept that is relevant for understanding the sustainability of the social and environmental conditions in which we live. Most research normatively focuses on building or strengthening resilience, despite growing recognition of the importance of breaking the resilience of, and thus transforming, unsustainable social-ecological systems. Undesirable resilience (cf. lock-ins, social-ecological traps), however, is not only less explored in the academic literature, but its understanding is also more fragmented across different disciplines. This disparity can inhibit collaboration among researchers exploring interdependent challenges in sustainability sciences. In this article, we propose that the term lock-in may contribute to a common understanding of undesirable resilience across scientific fields.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate

Publishing year





Global Sustainability

Document type

Journal article


Cambridge University Press


  • Environmental Sciences


  • lock-in
  • regime shifts
  • sustainable development
  • tipping points
  • transformations




  • ISSN: 2059-4798