The Challenge to Local Governance under Rapid Coastal Urbanization
Chapter 6: Governance as Process: The Evolution of ‘Power Spheres’ and Climate Change
INTRODUCTION Governance evokes a set of considerations other than conventional ‘topdown’ government control. Academic communities dealing with climate change, disasters and development assistance tend to equate governance with the sociopolitical conditions affecting the policies that are needed to cope with climatic stimuli or their effects (Burton et al., 2002). These policies are typically thought of in terms of regulations, plans, oneoff interventions or incentives. For instance, they may include actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, plans to deal with the impacts of hydro-meteorological extreme phenomena, or incentives to change the behaviour of economic actors (Adger, 2001). These behavioural changes may be directed towards preventing loss, tolerating loss, spreading loss socially, or changing use, activity or location (Burton et al., 1993). Policy interventions and incentives can be infrastructural, legal, legislative, institutional, administrative, organizational, regulatory, financial, research and development, market-oriented and technological (Carter et al., 1994). Climate change adaptation may require modifying the conditions of governance under which regulations, interventions and incentives are designed and implemented, in order to increase policy effectiveness. In fact, the modification of governance structures has been proposed as a means for enhancing adaptive capacity (Adger, 2000; Pelling, 2003; Baker and Refsgaard, 2007). The notion of governance structure includes both institutional configurations and social actors. It refers to evolving (formal and informal) patterns of relationship among the state, market players, civil society and individuals. Approaches based on the modification of existing governance structures seek to transcend the notion of ‘mainstreaming’, which seeks to integrate adaptation goals and actions...
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