Institutional Barriers in Local Adaptation Policies

  • Stéphane La BrancheEmail author
  • P. Bosbœuf
Reference work entry


Analyzing success cases is easier for researchers and more valued for those responsible for a project. Yet, there is more to learn from failures and partial successes. This chapter aims at identifying factors that block or diminish the potential success of an adaptation project in climate change, focusing on the political, cognitive, and institutional factors playing a role in the appropriation of this emerging field of public action. The first part of the chapter will identify the factors directly related to adaptation, leaving aside the technical and costs issues. We will base our analysis on the results of several empirical researches in the field of adaptation, with case studies in several rural and urban territories in France, which included interviews with local authority services as well as a national level survey conducted by the national French Association of Local Intermunicipalities. Using Young’s notions of institutional fit and misfit approach, we will explore the organizational obstacles to integrating the climate issue by territorial level decision-making authorities. Our case studies show, however, that a positive path dependency, conducive to changes and facilitating resilience, also exists. In this case, however, these positive factors may not always be replicable elsewhere. The conditions under which this may happen deserve far more research.


Institutional factors Intermunicipalities Adaptation 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PACTE – Grenoble Institute of Political StudiesGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.Lab’Urba – Paris-Est UniversityMarne-la-ValléeFrance

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