Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

Article | Open Access

Applying a Typology of Governance Modes to Climate Change Adaptation

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Abstract:  Climate change adaptation is a complex field of public policy that requires action by multiple levels of government, the private sector, and civil society. In recent years, increasing scholarly attention has been focused on the governance of adaptation, which has included exploring alternatives to state-centric models of decision-making and identifying appropriate roles and responsibilities of multiple actors to achieve desired outcomes. Scholars have called for greater clarity in distinguishing between different approaches to adaptation governance. Drawing on the rich scholarship about public governance, this article articulates and applies a typology of four modes of governance by which adaptation takes place (hierarchy, market, network, and community). Using examples of initiatives from across Canada, the article offers a framework for describing, comparing, and evaluating the governance of adaptation initiatives.

Keywords:  climate change; adaptation; governance; typology; Canada



© Danny Bednar, Daniel Henstra. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.