International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award

5-2016

Degree Type

Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change (IDSC)

Department

International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Ellen Foley, Ph.D

Second Reader

James Murphy, Ph.D

Abstract

This paper examines how two theoretical frameworks, systems and resilience thinking, provide differing understandings of natural disasters, poverty and environmental degradation in rural coastal Tanzania. Both frameworks aim to expand the scope of reductionist thinking, in order to better understand the complex interrelationships between various actors, which may have not otherwise been considered. Although both theories have their individual strengths and weaknesses, neither have been able to catalyze effective solutions to these problems. As a result, I propose a hybrid version of systems and resilience thinking, as a means to best examine poverty and environmental degradation in rural coastal Tanzania. Ultimately, this re-framing would contextualize this problem within a greater network of issues, and more appropriate solutions could be offered.

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