Adaptation as a Governance Practice

  • Monica Tennberg


In general terms, governance is the exercise of political, scientific, economic and administrative power to manage societies and their development. The concept of adaptation governance captures the multitude of issues, activities and actors engaged in adaptation to climate change. Adaptation to the impacts of climate change is a problem for governance, but one that is understood in different ways. Accordingly, the chapter develops two theoretical approaches to the study of adaptation governance, one drawing on the work of John Dewey, the other on the ideas of Michel Foucault. Adaptation governance does not appear from a political, economic and societal vacuum, but is closely related to existing political and administrative habits, customs and practices. Governance enhances or changes relations of responsibility. As a result of “responsibilisation” – increasing responsiveness in adaptation governance – practices of governance and power are developed, agencies are constructed and responsibilities for adaptation shared.


Adaptation Governance Responsibilisation John Dewey Michel Foucault Governmentality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V.  2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arctic CentreUniversity of LaplandRovaniemiFinland

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