Barriers to transformative adaptation: Responses to flood risk in Ireland

Clarke, Darren, Murphy, Conor and Lorenzoni, Irene (2017) Barriers to transformative adaptation: Responses to flood risk in Ireland. Journal of Extreme Events, 03 (02). ISSN 2345-7376

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Barriers to climate change adaptation have received increased attention in recent years as researchers and policymakers attempt to understand their complex and interdependent nature and identify strategies for overcoming them. To date however, there is a paucity of research on barriers to transformative adaptation. Using two case studies of flood risk management from Ireland we identify and characterize barriers to transformative adaptation. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders connected to proposed transformative strategies in Skibbereen, County Cork and Clontarf, County Dublin. Across both case studies, where transformative strategies failed to materialize, we highlight three significant barriers that impede transformation including: (i) social and cultural values, particularly place attachment and identity; (ii) institutional reliance on technical expertise which fails to look beyond traditional technocratic approaches and; (iii) institutional regulatory practices. Findings illustrate that where social or institutional barriers emerge, transformation may more likely succeed through a series of incremental changes. This research has practical implications for future adaptation planning as facilitating transformation through incrementalism requires flexible adaptation strategies that are responsive to changing social values over time. While focused on flood risk management, our findings have applicability for other sectors adapting to climate change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: flood risk,barriers,transformation,incremental change,adaptation,governance,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Science, Society and Sustainability
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Marine Knowledge Exchange Network
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2017 12:33
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2023 01:05
DOI: 10.1142/S234573761650010X


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