Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
M. Dobbs
Turbulence, resilience and adaptive capacity – hard cases making for adaptive law?
IALT Conference
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Discussion frequently centres on individual crises or indeed ‘crisisification’, but to the point that we miss the wood for the trees. This paper builds on the work of Ansell and others, and argues first that whilst society is currently faced with various individual crises, e.g. Brexit, Covid, climate change, war, famine etc (depending on localities), these are only symptoms or examples of a broader picture of turbulence. Turbulence entails a situation where the ground is perpetually shifting underfoot, where there are “interactions of events or demands that are highly variable, inconsistent, unexpected or unpredictable”. Second, this raises numerous challenges for society, policy actors and the law – in particular for the last, where predictability, consistency and certainty are typically viewed as highly desirable characteristics. Finally, as the ordinary gives way to crises and crises shift to turbulence, so too must the response by law shift – not departing ultimately from the foundations of rule of law, but instead responding to govern with turbulence through developing resilient policies and adaptive capacity. In developing this paper, I draw upon examples of specific sources of turbulence and innovative responses to these.