Variable: Governance (politics)

The political subsystem is at once a central component of human ecosystems and a result of numerous other components (such as organization, myths, and legal institutions [Shell 1969]). Politics as an institution is a collective solution to the need for decision making at scales larger than clan or caste. It includes the modes of interaction between political units (such as states and counties), the processes of decision making with political units (such as elections and legislative action), and the participation of citizens in political action (campaigns, party activity, referendum, and so forth). Government can be measured by its resources (tax receipts, authorized expenditures, and employees are examples) or it actions (laws passed, hearings held, and so forth). As governments at several scales control critical natural resources (such as the federal governments at several scales control critical natural resources (such as the federal government's forestland), changes in government action or process (revision to the Endangered Species Act) can have a significant influence on human ecosystems.

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