Social Science for Climate Change
Susan Moser

Barriers to Adaptation and Governance

photoGovernance can be conceive of broadly as the set of decisions, actors, processes, institutional structures and mechanisms, including the division of authority and underlying norms, involved in guiding a course of action. That makes governance a critical aspect to better understand, develop, and implement adaptation strategies.

My interest in governance is primarily in the context of addressing and overcoming barriers to climate change adaptation. In this sense, governance emerges as the skillful and strategic navigation of competing interests, the ability to overcome institutional obstacles and inertia, employ needed strengths and overcome impeding capacity limits in the context of a constantly changing environment of competing goals, needs, opportunities, trade-offs, and stakeholder interests.

Some of my recent projects aimed at identifying barriers to adaptation and ways to overcome them. Building on my own and others’ research, I am working with colleagues to develop a framework to diagnose barriers to adaptation. We are testing this approach in the context of urban adaptation.

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