Locusts and people: Integrating the social sciences in sustainable locust management

Clara Therville, John M. Anderies, Michel Lecoq, Arianne Cease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Locust outbreaks have impacted agricultural societies for millennia, they persist today, and humans aim to manage them using preventative strategies. While locusts have been a focus for natural sciences for more than a century, social sciences remain largely underrepresented. Yet, organizational, economic, and cultural variables substantially impact these management strategies. The social sciences are one important means through which researchers and practitioners can better understand these issues. This paper examines the scope and purpose of different subfields of social science and explores how they can be applied to different issues faced by entomologists and practitioners to implement sustainable locust research and management. In particular, we discuss how environmental governance studies resonate with two major challenges faced by locust managers: implementing a preventative strategy over a large spatial scale and managing an intermittent outbreak dynamic characterized by periods of recession and absence of the threat. We contend that the social sciences can help facilitate locust management policies, actions and outcomes that are more legitimate, salient, robust, and effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number951
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 12 2021


  • Environmental governance
  • Locusts
  • Social sciences
  • Social variables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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