Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy
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Handbook of U.S. Environmental Policy

Edited by David M. Konisky

A comprehensive analysis of diverse areas of scholarly research on U.S. environmental policy and politics, this Handbook looks at the key ideas, theoretical frameworks, empirical findings and methodological approaches to the topic. Leading environmental policy scholars emphasize areas of emerging research and opportunities for future enquiry.
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Chapter 26: The unexplored politics of climate change adaptation

Debra Javeline and Sophia N. Chau


Despite the urgent need to adapt to a planet fundamentally altered by climate change, American political institutions, leaders, and citizens are largely unsupportive of adaptation. Understanding the politics of (in)action could be accomplished by the broader engagement of scholars with expertise in political science and policy. Research challenges abound, including the difficulty of defining a case of adaptation as a unit of analysis and making causal inferences to link adaptation policy to implementations and outcomes. Nevertheless, tremendous opportunities exist for scholars and practitioners to advance both adaptation scholarship and practice. Studying the politics of climate change adaptation could begin with more comprehensive and sophisticated data-gathering efforts, research efforts directed at specific adaptation problems or obstacles, or traditional political science questions applied to adaptation.

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