Network governance and regional resilience to climate change: Empirical evidence from mountain tourism communities in the Swiss Gotthard region

Tobias Luthe, Romano Wyss, Markus Rolf Schuckert

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Mountain regions and peripheral communities, which often depend on few economic sectors, are among the most exposed and sensitive to climate change. Governance of such socio-economic-ecological networks plays a strong role in determining their resilience. Social processes of governance, such as collaboration between communities, can be systematically assessed through the existence and strength of connections between actors and their embeddedness in the broader socio-economic network by social network analysis (SNA). This paper examines how network governance of the tourism industry-dependent Swiss Gotthard region relates to resilience to climate change by SNA. The paper argues that economic diversification and a network structure supporting stability, flexibility, and innovation increase regional resilience to climate change. The Gotthard network has a high diversification capability due to high cohesion and close collaboration, limited innovative capacity by the existence of only two subgroups, and considerable flexibility through the centralized structure. Main weaknesses are a low density, uneven distribution of power, and a lack of integration of some supply chain sectors into the overall network.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)839-854
Number of pages16
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2012


  • Adaptive capacity
  • Mountain communities
  • Regional environmental change
  • Social network analysis
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change

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