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Understanding the role of politics of scale and power relations in local governance of climate change adaptation: case study from coastal Odisha, India

Pradhan, S. (2018) Understanding the role of politics of scale and power relations in local governance of climate change adaptation: case study from coastal Odisha, India. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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The governance of adaptation represents a complex policy challenge where it has to address the global and national level risks of climate change while being rooted in the local context of vulnerability and adaptation decision-making. In India, climate change adaptation is a complex socio-political process that includes different actors, their interests and the narrative outcomes of the interaction of those actors and their interests. Thus, multi-level adaptation governance has emerged as a policy instrument to address this complexity of climate change vulnerability and adaptation strategies. This thesis explores the conceptualisation of adaptation as a socio-political process within the emerging multi¬governance adaptation planning context in vulnerable coastal regions of India. This research seeks to understand the social and political factors that shapes policy and adaptation strategies at the local level. This aim is achieved through three main objectives -to examine existing policy structures and process, to examine local level socio-cultural structures and political practices and to characterise the actor interactions at policy-practice interface which shapes politic outcomes of adaptation strategies at the local level. This thesis draws from the structure-agency framework, actor-oriented approach and theoretical underpinnings of politics of scale to capture the local level realties of structure-agency interaction patterns. This study involved comparison of two coastal communities in Kendrapara district within the state of Odisha by using different methodological tools ranging from objective questionnaires to in-depth case studies. The finding suggests that multi-governance adaptation planning requires better horizontal and vertical institutional coordination, consideration of socio-cultural practices, and awareness of local political dynamics to be robust and support local level adaptation strategies. In addition, policy structures need to step up on aligning policy agendas on adaptation, development and disaster risk reduction, create resources that strengthen local institutions and develop frameworks that requires monitoring, evaluation and reiteration of policy goals. Further, as demonstrated by impact of agency of actors on shaping adaptation trajectories, multi-level governance needs to support local innovation and create platforms for socio-political mobility to address the inherent vulnerability at local level.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Dorward, P. and Osbahr, H.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
ID Code:80419


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