Assistant Professor of Sustainability Science
-- Duke University
Professor Basurto is interested in the fundamental question of how groups (human and non-human) can find ways to self-organize, cooperate, and engage in successful collective action for the benefit of the common good. To do this he strives to understand how the institutions (formal and informal rules and norms) that govern social behavior, interplay with biophysical variables to shape social-ecological systems. What kind of institutions are better able to govern complex-adaptive systems? and how can societies (large and small) develop robust institutions that provide enough flexibility for collective learning and adaptation over the long-term?
His academic and professional training is based on a deep conviction that it is through integrating different disciplinary perspectives and methods that we will be able to find solutions to challenging dilemmas in natural resources management, conservation, and environmental policy. Trained as a marine biologist, he completed a MS in natural resources studying small-scale fisheries in the Gulf of California, Mexico. Realizing the need to bring social science theories into his work on common-pool resources sustainability, he earned an MPA and a Ph.D. in Management (with a minor in cultural anthropology) from the University of Arizona, under the supervision of Edella Schlager. He spent the following two years working with Elinor Ostrom, 2009 co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, at the Workshop for Political Theory and Policy Analysis of Indiana University. Methodologically, his is familiar with a variety of quantitative and qualitative approaches and is formally trained to conduct Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA or more recently fsQCA) that allows, among other things, systematic comparisons of middle range N sample sizes and addresses issues of multiple-causality.