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Just how long does ‘long-term’ have to be?: Matters of temporal scale as impediments to interdisciplinary understanding in historical ecology
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, African and Comparative Archaeology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9936-1310
2015 (English)In: Oxford Handbook of AppliedArchaeology / [ed] Christian Isendahl and Daryl Stump, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The phrase ‘long term’ is increasingly used as a keyword descriptive for research proposals and outputs claiming to contribute to debates on past and future climate change, sustainable economies, and the resilience of different landscapes. Scholars from across the environmental and social sciences and the humanities are engaged in this kind of research and are keen to see their results used to influence policy and practice. While ostensibly addressing mutually common issues, scrutiny of these studies indicates very divergent uses of the term ‘long term’. Such variation can act as an impediment to the development of truly interdisciplinary historical ecologies, especially since scholars often fail to specify the precise temporal range they have in mind when they employ the phrase ‘long term’. This chapter reviews these alternative understandings of the term and their associated problems, and offers some suggestions as to how these might be overcome.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.
Keyword [en]
long-term, temporal range, sustainable economies, historical ecology, climate change, resilience
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270127DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199672691.013.5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270127DiVA: diva2:885984
EU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, 606879
Available from: 2015-12-21 Created: 2015-12-21 Last updated: 2015-12-21

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