Re-examining policy stability in climate adaptation through a lock-in perspective

Groen, Lisanne, Alexander, Meghan, King, Julie P., Jager, Nicolas W. and Huitema, Dave (2023) Re-examining policy stability in climate adaptation through a lock-in perspective. Journal of European Public Policy, 30 (3). pp. 488-512. ISSN 1350-1763

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Responding to current and future climate change demands urgent, transformative adaptation, yet in many policy systems inaction continues to prevail. This paper examines apparent resistance to policy change and the persistence of business-as-usual through a ‘lock-in perspective’, which means that attention is paid to how reinforcing mechanisms drive stabilisation and resistance in policy systems. Offering a fresh synthesis of known lock-in mechanisms in the literature, this paper explores the role of those mechanisms in two empirical cases of coastal adaptation: England (U.K.) and Schleswig-Holstein (Germany). While several known lock-mechanisms are observable, some are newly identified in this adaptation context. We offer a critical reflection on the added value of the lock-in perspective for understanding policy stability. In turn, the identification of self- and mutually-reinforcing mechanisms provides a much-needed foundation for targeted policy interventions and efforts to ‘unlock’ climate adaptation pathways.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Part of Special Issue – Climate policy: from complexity to consensus? Funding: This work was supported, under the Open Research Area (ORA) programme, by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek [grant 464.18.101]; the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft [grant 396892926]; and the Economic and Social Research Council [grant ES/S015264/1].
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
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
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 06 May 2022 08:31
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2023 01:31
DOI: 10.1080/13501763.2022.2064535

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