Adaptation and Extreme Events at the Local Level
Edited by E. Carina H. Keskitalo
Chapter 5: Policy change and policy learning for enhanced flood policies at local, subnational and EU level
This study combines the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) and the Theory of Focusing Events (TEF) to examine policy change and policy learning in flood policy in Saxony, Germany, and the EU in the aftermath of a large-scale flood in 2002. Contrary to the ACF this study finds that policy-oriented learning by members of the dominant advocacy coalition in response to an extreme event can in fact result in fundamental changes in policy programmes. Results also suggest that minority coalitions need to address long-term objectives, leadership and resource constraints to effectively exploit new policy arenas and to successfully realize their policy beliefs. Furthermore findings in this study also point to the limited capability of stakeholder platforms to gain greater influence in environmental governance and water resource management. Instead results show that dominant advocacy coalitions have the opportunity to fundamentally revise policy strategies and instruments given adequate resources, political authority and previous experiences with alternative policy options. The study also finds tentative evidence that experience of flood policy making in Saxony considerably informed the development of the EU Flood Directive. Keywords: Policy Change, Learning; Environmental Governance, Water Resource Management; Disaster Risk Management
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