Do Administrative Traditions Matter for Climate Change Adaptation Policy? A Comparative Analysis of 32 High-Income Countries

Robbert Biesbroek*, Alexandra Lesnikowski, James D. Ford, Lea Berrang-Ford, Martinus Vink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although governments are developing and implementing policies to adapt to the impacts of climate change, it remains unclear which factors shape how states are developing these policies. This paper aims to assess whether or not administrative traditions matter for the formation of national climate change adaptation policy in 32 high-income countries. We operationalize administrative traditions based on five structural criteria: vertical dispersion of authority, horizontal coordination, interest mediation between state-society, role of public administrator, and how ideas enter bureaucracy. We construct a unique adaptation policy dataset that includes 32 high-income countries to test seven hypotheses. Our results indicate that countries’ adaptation policies align to some extent with their administrative structure, particularly dispersion of authority and horizontal coordination. However, we find limited evidence that other public bureaucracy factors are related to national adaptation policy. We conclude that administrative traditions matter, but that their influence should not be overestimated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)881-906
JournalReview of Policy Research
Volume35
Issue number6
Early online date3 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • administrative traditions
  • climate change adaptation
  • governance
  • policy innovation
  • public bureaucracy

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