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Confronting total systemic failure? The May 2018 truckers' strike in Brazil

Published on Jul 8, 2019in Systems Research and Behavioral Science 1.05
· DOI :10.1002/sres.2603
Sandro Luis Schlindwein5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UFSC: Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina),
Ray Ison30
Estimated H-index: 30
(OU: Open University)
In May 2018, truckers in Brazil went on strike for 10 days to protest against rising diesel prices and for better freight payments. The strike caused an unprecedented level of disruption in many supply-and-distribution networks affecting almost all sectors of the economy and the society. Using causal loop diagrams (CLDs) within a systemic-inquiry approach, an analysis of the circumstances that led to the strike and the resulting systemic failures is developed. Although the main driver of the strike was the fuel-price policy of Petrobras, a semipublic Brazilian corporation in the petroleum industry, the level of the observed disruption was primarily the result of a cascade of failures in a range of coupled systems. From the circumstances that led to the strike and its disruptive effects, lessons for future policy are reported making evident the need for transformative governance arrangements, particularly innovative governance practices to prevent failure and disruption in highly interconnected systems.
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Published on Sep 1, 2018in Sustainability Science 4.67
Ray Ison30
Estimated H-index: 30
(OU: Open University),
Jason Alexandra3
Estimated H-index: 3
(RMIT: RMIT University),
Phil Wallis2
Estimated H-index: 2
The Anthropocene imposes new challenges for governments, demanding capabilities for dealing with complexity and uncertainty. In this paper we examine how effective governing of social-biophysical dynamics is constrained by current processes and systems of government. Framing choices and structural determinants combine to create governance deficits in multiple domains, particularly in relation to the governing of complex larger-scale social – biophysical systems. Attempts to build capability for ...
Published on Jun 1, 2018in Science of The Total Environment 5.59
Philip Garnett6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Ebor: University of York)
Abstract While the world argues about whether climate change is real, what if all systems are failing? This paper seeks to ignite further discussion concerning human impact on all aspects of our environment as we move further into the Anthropocene, not only in terms of the pressure we produce, but also how our activity changes the nature of the relationships between Earth's systems. The paper suggests that we currently lack the tools and analytical capacity to understand the significance of thes...
Published on Nov 17, 2016in Water 2.52
Natalie Foster2
Estimated H-index: 2
Kevin Collins15
Estimated H-index: 15
+ 1 AuthorsChris Blackmore13
Estimated H-index: 13
In 2015, water governance in England finds itself part way through perhaps the most significant changes since the privatisation of the water industry in 1989. Each of the changes is a response to the specific challenges that fall within the realm of improving water governance. However, they also raise many questions: How will the changes play out in practice? Will they work together to form a coherent ’whole’? Can collaborative and competitive approaches really co-exist? This research aims to en...
Published on Jun 1, 2015in Kybernetes 1.38
Ray Ison30
Estimated H-index: 30
(Monash University, Clayton campus),
Sandro Luis Schlindwein5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UFSC: Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina)
Purpose – The governance of the relationship between humans and the biophysical world has been based on a paradigm characterized by dualistic thinking and scientism. This has led to the Anthropocene. The purpose of this paper is to reframe human-biosphere governance in terms of “cyber-systemics”, a neologism that is useful, the authors argue, not only for breaking out of this dualistic paradigm in human-environmental governance but also of the dualism associated with the use of systems and cyber...
Published on Jan 1, 2011in Nature 43.07
Andrew G. Haldane24
Estimated H-index: 24
(Bank of England),
Robert M. May129
Estimated H-index: 129
(University of Oxford)
In the run-up to the recent financial crisis, an increasingly elaborate set of financial instruments emerged, intended to optimize returns to individual institutions with seemingly minimal risk. Essentially no attention was given to their possible effects on the stability of the system as a whole. Drawing analogies with the dynamics of ecological food webs and with networks within which infectious diseases spread, we explore the interplay between complexity and stability in deliberately simplifi...
Published on Apr 1, 2010in Nature 43.07
Sergey V. Buldyrev70
Estimated H-index: 70
(BU: Boston University),
Roni Parshani8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Yeshiva University)
+ 2 AuthorsShlomo Havlin98
Estimated H-index: 98
(BIU: Bar-Ilan University)
Modern networks are rarely independent, instead being coupled together with many others. Thus the failure of a small fraction of nodes in one network may lead to the complete fragmentation of a system of several interdependent networks. Here, a framework is developed for understanding the robustness of interacting networks subject to such 'cascading' failures. Surprisingly, a broader degree distribution increases the vulnerability of interdependent networks to random failure.
Published on Apr 1, 2010in Nature 43.07
Alessandro Vespignani83
Estimated H-index: 83
(IU: Indiana University)
A study of failures in interconnected networks highlights the vulnerability of tightly coupled infrastructures and shows the need to consider mutually dependent network properties in designing resilient systems.
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