When policy innovations meet administrative traditions: the case of climate change adaptation

Robbert Biesbroek, Wageningen University & Research

The Paris Agreement provides a global framework that strengthens governments to develop and implement adaptation policies to adapt to the current and projected impacts of climate change. However, adopting new adaptation policies is no easy task and many barriers may emerge. This lecture will focus on one set of frequently reported barriers: how existing institutional and bureaucratic structures and processes influence and constrain the ways in which states respond to climate change risks and how this in turn shapes implementation preferences of policy actors. The lecture will adopt a comparative perspective to show the state of the art in countries have progressed on adaptation policies. The lecture will discuss and empirically test a number of hypotheses on the influence of five dimensions of administrative traditions – dispersion of authority, horizontal coordination, interest mediation between state-society, role of public administrator, and openness of bureaucracy. Results show that particularly administrative structures matter and that it is perhaps too early to assess influence of administrative culture.

About the speaker

Dr. Robbert Biesbroek is an Assistant Professor at the Public Administration and Policy group, Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands. His research interests include mechanisms of complex decision making, dynamics of policy (dis)integration of cross-cutting societal issues, and the political and bureaucratic responses to climate change adaptation. In 2014 he co-founded TRAC3 an international collaboration for developing conceptual, methodological, and empirical approaches for tracking adaptation across scales and contexts (www.trac3.ca) and he is one of the leads in the Adaptation Tracking Collaborative (2016-). He is currently editor for a special issue on “Administrative Traditions and Climate Change Adaptation”(expected mid-2017, with Prof. Guy Peters, Prof. Jale Tosun). He (co)authored over twenty scientific papers on climate change adaptation policy and currently serves as Editor for Regional Environmental Change.

Venue: 2.22

Date: 23 November 2016

Time: 11:00 - 12:00