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Reinhard Steurer

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Christoph Clar and Reinhard Steurer

Climate change adaptation strategies have mushroomed at all levels of government in recent years. While many studies have explored barriers that stand in the way of their implementation, the factors determining their potential to actually mainstream adaptation into various sectors are less clear. In this chapter the authors aim to address this gap for two international, six national and six local adaptation strategies. Although located at three different levels of government, the 14 cases studied here represent ‘one-size-fits-all’ governance arrangements that are all characterized by voluntariness and a lack of institutionalization. Since adaptation strategies are relatively weak coordination hubs that are unable to force adaptation onto sectoral policy agendas, they rely mainly on sectoral self-interest in adaptation that is largely dependent on problem pressure. The authors conclude that one-size-fits-all governance arrangements are rarely adequate responses to complex challenges such as climate change.