Political Dimensions of Climate Change Adaptation: Conceptual Reflections and African Examples

  • Irit EguavoenEmail author
  • Karsten Schulz
  • Sara de Wit
  • Florian Weisser
  • Detlef Müller-Mahn
Living reference work entry


This chapter supports the argument that social science research should focus on adaptation to climate change as a social and political process, by analyzing the politics and interests of actors in climate change adaptation arenas and by acknowledging the active role of those people who are expected to adapt. Most conventional climate research depoliticizes vulnerability and adaptation by removing dominant global economic and policy conditions from the discussion. Social science disciplines, if given appropriate weight in multidisciplinary projects, contribute important analyses by relying on established concepts from political science, human geography, and social anthropology. This chapter explains relevant disciplinary concepts (climate change adaptation arena, governance, politics, perception, mental models, culture, weather discourses, risk, blame, traveling ideas) and relates them to each other to facilitate the use of a common terminology and conceptual framework for research in a developmental context.


Climate change adaptation arena Governance Politics Perception Mental models Culture Weather discourse Risk Blame Traveling ideas Discourse Development Africa 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irit Eguavoen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karsten Schulz
    • 2
  • Sara de Wit
    • 3
  • Florian Weisser
    • 4
  • Detlef Müller-Mahn
    • 4
  1. 1.West African Science Service Center for Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), Center for Development ResearchUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Center for Development ResearchUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  3. 3.Cologne African Studies CentreUniversity of CologneCologneGermany
  4. 4.Geographical InstituteUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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