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    Barriers to transformative adaptation: responses to flood risk in Ireland

    Clarke, Darren and Murphy, Conor and Lorenzoni, Irene (2016) Barriers to transformative adaptation: responses to flood risk in Ireland. Journal of Extreme Events, 3 (2). p. 1650010. ISSN 2345-7376

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    Barriers to climate change adaptation have received increased attention in recent years as researchers and policymakers attempt to understand their complex and interdependent nature and identify strategies for overcoming them. To date however, there is a paucity of research on barriers to transformative adaptation. Using two case studies of flood risk management from Ireland we identify and characterize barriers to transformative adaptation. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders connected to proposed transformative strategies in Skibbereen, County Cork and Clontarf, County Dublin. Across both case studies, where transformative strategies failed to materialize, we highlight three significant barriers that impede transformation including: (i) social and cultural values, particularly place attachment and identity; (ii) institutional reliance on technical expertise which fails to look beyond traditional technocratic approaches and; (iii) institutional regulatory practices. Findings illustrate that where social or institutional barriers emerge, transformation may more likely succeed through a series of incremental changes. This research has practical implications for future adaptation planning as facilitating transformation through incrementalism requires flexible adaptation strategies that are responsive to changing social values over time. While focused on flood risk management, our findings have applicability for other sectors adapting to climate change.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Flood risk; barriers; transformation; incremental change; adaptation; governance;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Geography
    Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Institutes > Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units, ICARUS
    Item ID: 11695
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Conor Murphy
    Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2019 17:07
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Extreme Events
    Publisher: World Scientific Publishing
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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