Zoonoses, one health and complexity: Wicked problems and constructive conflict

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Infectious zoonoses emerge from complex interactions among social and ecological systems. Understanding this complexity requires the accommodation of multiple, often conflicting, perspectives and narratives, rooted in different value systems and temporal–spatial scales. Therefore, to be adaptive, successful and sustainable, One Health approaches necessarily entail conflicts among observers, practitioners and scholars. Nevertheless, these integrative approaches have, both implicitly and explicitly, tended to marginalize some perspectives and prioritize others, resulting in a kind of technocratic tyranny. An important function of One Health approaches should be to facilitate and manage those conflicts, rather than to impose solutions.




Waltner-Toews, D. (2017). Zoonoses, one health and complexity: Wicked problems and constructive conflict. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Royal Society. https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2016.0171

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