Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Adger, WN;Quinn, T;Lorenzoni, I;Murphy, C;Sweeney, J
2013
April
Nature Climate Change
Changing social contracts in climate-change adaptation
Published
112 ()
Optional Fields
FLOOD RISK TRANSFORMATION UK VULNERABILITY
3
330
333
Risks from extreme weather events are mediated through state, civil society and individual action(1,2). We propose evolving social contracts as a primary mechanism by which adaptation to climate change proceeds. We use a natural experiment of policy and social contexts of the UK and Ireland affected by the same meteorological event and resultant flooding in November 2009. We analyse data from policy documents and from household surveys of 356 residents in western Ireland and northwest England. We find significant differences between perceptions of individual responsibility for protection across the jurisdictions and between perceptions of future risk from populations directly affected by flooding events. These explain differences in stated willingness to take individual adaptive actions when state support retrenches. We therefore show that expectations for state protection are critical in mediating impacts and promoting longer-term adaptation. We argue that making social contracts explicit may smooth pathways to effective and legitimate adaptation.
LONDON
1758-678X
10.1038/NCLIMATE1751
Grant Details