Research Handbook on Climate Change Adaptation Policy
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Research Handbook on Climate Change Adaptation Policy

Edited by E. C.H. Keskitalo and B. L. Preston

This topical and engaging Research Handbook illustrates the variety of research approaches in the field of climate change adaptation policy in order to provide a guide to its social and institutional complexity.
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Chapter 6: Unpacking the potential role of social learning in adaptation policy

Georgina Cundill and Blane Harvey

Abstract

Social learning holds potential to accelerate collective understanding and action around common problems, and is a cornerstone to confronting complex problems such as climate change. Social learning, however, is not without its weaknesses, and certainly does not offer an easy solution to developing adaptation policy. By reviewing approaches to social learning in natural resource management, and reflecting on the application of the concept to date in the adaptation policy sphere, the authorsidentify an opportunity space at the nexus of deliberative and experimental models of social learning as a key area for further development. Movingforward, significant attention will need to be paid to power differences in co-production and experimentation for policy design and delivery, and investments in trialing, documenting and thoroughly assessing the outcomes of social learning in adaptation policy contexts will be necessary.

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