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The regional governance of climate adaptation: A framework for developing legitimate, effective, and resilient governance arrangements

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Adaptation to climate change raises important governance issues. Notwithstanding the increasing attention on climate adaptation at the global and European level, the variety of local conditions and climate impacts points towards a prime role for regional actors in climate change adaptation. They face the challenge of developing and implementing adaptation options and increasing the adaptive capacity of regions so that expected or unexpected impacts of future climate change can be addressed. This paper presents a conceptual framework to analyse the regional governance of climate adaptation. It addresses the following key questions: (1) What are the distinct challenges for the regional governance of climate adaptation? (2) Which concepts can guide the design of new governance arrangements and strategies? (3) What challenges to legal principles are posed by the climate? (4) What research methods are suitable for developing and testing governance arrangements and strategies? We present a framework designed to address each of these questions; it has analytical, design, normative, and methodological components. In the paper, examples from the Dutch regional governance of climate adaptation serve as illustrations of the conceptual argumentation.


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