Research Topic

Advancing a Cross Boundary Social Science of Trust in Natural Resource Management

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About this Research Topic

Effectively and efficiently managing natural resources involves a wide variety of stakeholders that run from landowners to international organizations to society in general. As models for natural resource management (NRM) shift to more collaborative approaches, understanding trust among stakeholders and managers has become especially critical. A growing body of literature has much to say about the sources, mechanisms, and relations relevant to trust in NRM; however, this literature has yet to be effectively integrated in ways that enables it to optimally impact NRM. Instead, this work is conducted in relatively disconnected silos, distinctly addressing drivers of trust and cooperation, the development of trustworthiness and credibility in communication, the importance of trust within co-management groups, the role of trust in public engagement, and even trust in science as an institution. Furthermore, NRM scholarship is itself fragmented into areas addressing climate change, agriculture, forestry, and ecology and others, further complicating the development of a cross-boundary social science of trust.

The Guest Editors of this Research Topic seek original research of relevance to NRM that advances the development of a scholarly understanding of trust that crosses disciplinary or contextual boundaries. Thus, submissions should explicitly seek to contribute insights into trust that are not limited to a particular context or disciplinary domain. This may be accomplished by conducting research that deliberately seeks to cross boundaries or by thoughtfully positioning context- or discipline-specific research within other related literatures. Submissions should specifically address trust but may focus on its nexus with related constructs like confidence, legitimacy, bias, credibility, engagement, and others. Please note that submissions must explicitly relate trust or distrust to other concepts that may be explored more fully within the manuscript. For example, a study focused on legitimacy in forest management would be appropriate for submission if the tie to trust is made explicitly and the broader relevance of the manuscript is clear. Specific foci could include:

● Reviews of conceptualizations and/or measures of trust within or across specific relationships
● Proposals or tests of models or frameworks integrating constructs or approaches
● Tests of explicit conceptualizations of trust within discrete relationships and contexts
● Explorations of how trust and distrust vary depending on the communicator, the context, the audiences, and the mode of delivery
● Submissions critical of trust as a panacea for NRM

*Submission Instructions*
The Guest Editors welcome submissions employing either or both qualitative and quantitative methods. Abstract submissions should have a length of 750-1000 words and are due March 22, 2019 (submitting an abstract is not mandatory but strongly recommended). All full manuscripts must be received before September 20, 2019. Please contact the Guest Editors if you have any questions about the relevance of your work for this call.


Keywords: Natural Resource Management, NRM, Trust, Social Science, Communication


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Effectively and efficiently managing natural resources involves a wide variety of stakeholders that run from landowners to international organizations to society in general. As models for natural resource management (NRM) shift to more collaborative approaches, understanding trust among stakeholders and managers has become especially critical. A growing body of literature has much to say about the sources, mechanisms, and relations relevant to trust in NRM; however, this literature has yet to be effectively integrated in ways that enables it to optimally impact NRM. Instead, this work is conducted in relatively disconnected silos, distinctly addressing drivers of trust and cooperation, the development of trustworthiness and credibility in communication, the importance of trust within co-management groups, the role of trust in public engagement, and even trust in science as an institution. Furthermore, NRM scholarship is itself fragmented into areas addressing climate change, agriculture, forestry, and ecology and others, further complicating the development of a cross-boundary social science of trust.

The Guest Editors of this Research Topic seek original research of relevance to NRM that advances the development of a scholarly understanding of trust that crosses disciplinary or contextual boundaries. Thus, submissions should explicitly seek to contribute insights into trust that are not limited to a particular context or disciplinary domain. This may be accomplished by conducting research that deliberately seeks to cross boundaries or by thoughtfully positioning context- or discipline-specific research within other related literatures. Submissions should specifically address trust but may focus on its nexus with related constructs like confidence, legitimacy, bias, credibility, engagement, and others. Please note that submissions must explicitly relate trust or distrust to other concepts that may be explored more fully within the manuscript. For example, a study focused on legitimacy in forest management would be appropriate for submission if the tie to trust is made explicitly and the broader relevance of the manuscript is clear. Specific foci could include:

● Reviews of conceptualizations and/or measures of trust within or across specific relationships
● Proposals or tests of models or frameworks integrating constructs or approaches
● Tests of explicit conceptualizations of trust within discrete relationships and contexts
● Explorations of how trust and distrust vary depending on the communicator, the context, the audiences, and the mode of delivery
● Submissions critical of trust as a panacea for NRM

*Submission Instructions*
The Guest Editors welcome submissions employing either or both qualitative and quantitative methods. Abstract submissions should have a length of 750-1000 words and are due March 22, 2019 (submitting an abstract is not mandatory but strongly recommended). All full manuscripts must be received before September 20, 2019. Please contact the Guest Editors if you have any questions about the relevance of your work for this call.


Keywords: Natural Resource Management, NRM, Trust, Social Science, Communication


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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