Climate adaptation in the Anthropocene (concept of risk regime (Critical…
Climate adaptation in the
signals a growing awareness of
the scale of humankind’s imprint on the natural environment
proposed as a new epoch characterized primarily by the impacts of climate change, but also biodiversity
loss and the proliferation of waste
this shifting environment, which could threaten the ecological foundations of the economy and society, is creating new, difficult-tomanage risks
social sciences are awakening to the implications of an unstable Anthropocene
raises questions regarding how organizations, institutions, markets, and governance structures adapt.
implies that the human–nature dialectic is part of a complex system with entangled economic, ecological, cultural, and political components
recognition that ‘humanity is spatially
and socially differentiated’
provides ‘the opportunity for a re-politicisation of environmental challenges’ and to explore ‘many futures
questions the path of continuous economic growth, casts doubt on optimistic renditions of scientific and technological progress, and probes the power relations vested in structures for defining, managing, and distributing risk
technological developments of modernity generate new types of risks that not only threaten lives and property, but also
undermine the ecological and political foundations of the economy and society
usually heralded as a global phenomenon, but recent attention to climate impacts has stimulated more local awareness and action, particularly at the urban level
Authors suggest that organizational processes themselves actively construct the Anthropocene, for example, by shifting our conceptions of the human–nature interface and by reshaping the material facets of that interface in urban contexts.
process of organizing for adaptation raises several important questions
How do organizations
comprehend and make sense of the changes and risks associated with the Anthropocene?
Which actors and discursive frames are engaged in the planning and decision-making processes?
How do new processes and structures evolve to ‘manage risk’?
How are these response processes
affected by differential power and interests?
What conflicts arise regarding mechanisms for
addressing risks, and between goals such as resilience and economic growth?
concept of risk
contingently stable set of governance arrangements, economic and business models,
and discursive framings
‘anticipatory adaptation’ that ‘creates resources and capabilities that allow an organization to be more resistant to or recover more quickly from impacts of more frequent and/or severe extreme weather events
question these technocratic approaches and draw
attention to the discursive character and political economy of risk
perceptions of environmental risks are shaped by cultural context and are therefore malleable and contingent
integrates a systems-level approach to organizational resilience with a critical perspective sensitive to the political economy of risk
More political renditions note that risk perceptions are actively contested and shaped by organizations
with economic and ideological interests, for example, over nuclear power
structures contentious fields where risk definition, measurement, management, and distribution are central to their governance, discursive construction, and economic functioning
This contestation is driven by competing imaginaries
economic, governance, and discursive configurations that constitute a regime
dialectic between the destabilizing potential of physical risks
economic dimension of the regime concerns mechanisms of value creation, market structures, and business models at the firm and city levels
discursive dimension relates to the semiotic systems that structure conceptions of risk and appropriate responses
governance dimension includes
formal and informal rules, power relations, and organizations with authority
is an attempt to anticipate and prepare for ‘a state of the world that does not yet exist’
Adaptation scholars also recognize that organizations are integral elements of larger socioecological
systems, both in their vulnerability to systemic risks and their response strategies
Theories of urban environmental regimes are particularly relevant for climate adaptation
Climate policies are not just located in the urban context but are shaped by these
dynamic structures and processes
policies reshape the city
Risk realized and prioritized
Risk regimes imagined
The business as usual imaginary
The innovative models and finance imaginary
The radical change imaginary
The evolving ‘progressive instrumentalist regime’