Mitigation and adaptation in polycentric systems: sources of power in the pursuit of collective goals

Morrison, Tiffany H., Adger, W. Neil, Brown, Katrina, Lemos, Maria Carmen, Huitema, Dave, and Hughes, Terry P. (2017) Mitigation and adaptation in polycentric systems: sources of power in the pursuit of collective goals. WIREs Climate Change, 8 (5). e479. pp. 1-16.

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Polycentric governance involves multiple actors at multiple scales beyond the state. The potential of polycentric governance for promoting both climate mitigation and adaptation is well established. Yet, dominant conceptualizations of polycentric governance pay scant attention to how power dynamics affect the structure and the outcomes of climate action. We review emerging evidence on power within polycentric and distributed governance across the climate, forestry, marine, coastal, urban, and water sectors, and relate them to established positions on power within research on federalism, decentralization, international relations, and networked governance. We develop a typology of design, pragmatic, and framing power that focuses on how and in whose interests power is mobilized to achieve outcomes. We propose that the conceptual model helps to explain power dynamics across different sectors and across both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Significant research challenges arising from the analysis include the measurement and monitoring of the outcomes of power asymmetries over time.

Item ID: 50948
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1757-7799
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© 2017 The Authors. WIREs Climate Change published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License [], which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2017 23:12
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4408 Political science > 440805 Environmental politics @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440704 Environment policy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960301 Climate Change Adaptation Measures @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960302 Climate Change Mitigation Strategies @ 25%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940203 Political Systems @ 50%
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