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    Changing social contracts in climate- change adaptation


    Adger, W. Neil and Quinn, Tara and Lorenzoni, Irene and Murphy, Conor and Sweeney, John (2013) Changing social contracts in climate- change adaptation. Nature Climate Change, 3. ISSN 1758-678X

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    Abstract

    Risks from extreme weather events are mediated through state, civil society and individual action 1 , 2 . We propose evolving social contracts as a primary mechanism by which adaptation to climate change proceeds. We use a natural experiment of policy and social contexts of the UK and Ireland affected by the same meteorological event and resultant flooding in November 2009. We analyse data from policy documents and from household surveys of 356 residents in western Ireland and northwest England. We find significant differences between perceptions of individual responsibility for protection across the jurisdictions and between perceptions of future risk from populations directly affected by flooding events. These explain differences in stated willingness to take individual adaptive actions when state support retrenches. We therefore show that expectations for state protection are critical in mediating impacts and promoting longer-term adaptation. We argue that making social contracts explicit may smooth pathways to effective and legitimate adaptation.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Politics and government; Adaptation; Geography; Sustainability;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Item ID: 4948
    Identification Number: http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/nclimate1751
    Depositing User: Conor Murphy
    Date Deposited: 13 May 2014 10:30
    Journal or Publication Title: Nature Climate Change
    Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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