Fuzzy cognitive mapping as a tool for analysing the sustainability of common-pool resources
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This dissertation consists of two parts. The first paper reviews the existing body of literature on the sustainability of common-pool resources and tries to find a theoretically based answer to the question: How can fuzzy cognitive mapping contribute to the existing knowledge base on commonpool resource sustainability? The second paper is an experimental paper and evaluates fuzzy cognitive mapping as a methodological tool for assessing the sustainability of common-pool resources using a case study of the Rwamucucu wetland in Kabale district, Uganda. Findings from both papers indicate that fuzzy cognitive mapping elicits individual’s beliefs and perceptions underlying their decision-making and thus provides insights into the similarities and differences between stakeholders, therewith exposing areas of consensus and conflict. FCM can transcend natural and social sciences by enabling a perception-based analysis of natural systems. The methodology provides an opportunity to create an opening to study common-pool resources from a new and different perspective and may germinate new directions for theory development.