1st Edition

A Critical Approach to Climate Change Adaptation Discourses, Policies and Practices

Edited By Silja Klepp, Libertad Chavez-Rodriguez Copyright 2018
    324 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    324 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume brings together critical research on climate change adaptation discourses, policies, and practices from a multi-disciplinary perspective. Drawing on examples from countries including Colombia, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Russia, Tanzania, Indonesia, and the Pacific Islands, the chapters describe how adaptation measures are interpreted, transformed, and implemented at grassroots level and how these measures are changing or interfering with power relations, legal pluralismm and local (ecological) knowledge. As a whole, the book challenges established perspectives of climate change adaptation by taking into account issues of cultural diversity, environmental justicem and human rights, as well as feminist or intersectional approaches.

    Chapter 3 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license. https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/tandfbis/rt-files/docs/Open+Access+Chapters/9781138056299_oachapter3.pdf

    List of Figures

    List of Tables

    List of Contributors

    PART I Introduction

    1. Governing climate change: The power of adaptation discourses, policies and practices

    Silja Klepp and Libertad Chavez-Rodriguez

    PART II Conceptualizing Climate Change Adaptation

    2. A clash of adaptations: How adaptation to climate change is translated in northern Tanzania

    Sara de Wit

    3. Rethinking the framing of climate change adaptation: Knowledge, power and politics

    Daniel Morchain

    PART III The political economy of Climate Change Adaptation

    4. Climate change economies: Denaturalising adaptation and hydrocarbon economisation

    Sophie Webber and Emilia Kennedy

    5. Tourism, environmental damage and climate policy at the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico

    Ignacio Rubio C.

    6. Vulnerability factors among Cocopah fishermen: Climate change, fishery policies and the politics of water in the delta of the Colorado River

    Alejandra Navarro-Smith

    7. Ruling nature and indigenous communities: Renewed senses of community and contending politics of mitigation of climate change in the northern Sierra of Oaxaca, Mexico

    Salvador Aquino Centeno

    8. Adapting in a carbon pool? Politicising climate change at Sumatra’s oil palm frontier

    Jonas Hein and Yvonne Kunz

    PART IV Local vs National vs Global Understandings of Climate Change Adaptation

    9. Adapting in the borderlands: The legacy of neoliberal conservation on the Mexican-Guatemalan border

    Celia Ruiz de la Oña Plaza

    10. Climate change adaptation narratives in the Gulf of Mexico

    Luz María Vázquez

    11. Leaving the comfort zone: Regional governance in a German climate adaptation project

    Heiko Garrelts, Johannes Herbeck, Michael Flitner

    12. Re-configuring climate change adaptation policy: Indigenous peoples’ strategies and policies for managing environmental transformations in Colombia

    Astrid Ulloa

    PART V Beyond Critical Adaptation Research – Innovative Understandings of Climate Change Adaptation

    13. Atlases of community change: Community collaborative-interactive projects in Russia and Canada

    Susan A. Crate

    14. Professionalising the ‘resilience’ sector in the Pacific Islands Region: Formal education for capacity building

    Sarah Louise Hemstock, Helene Jacot Des Combes, Leigh-Anne Buliruarua, Kevin Maitava, Ruth Senikula, Roy Smith, Tess Martin

    PART VI Conclusion

    15. Conclusion: The politics in critical adaptation research

    Sybille Bauriedl and Detlef Müller-Mahn


    Silja Klepp is a professor of geography at Kiel University, Germany.

    Libertad Chavez-Rodriguez Libertad Chavez-Rodriguez is a researcher at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Monterrey, Mexico.

    "Climate change adaptation is political. This is the core message of this timely and potent text. At a world-historical moment in which crises of capitalism, political cynicism, and ecology converge, it reminds us that adapting to these crises is not a technocratic exercise but a deeply political undertaking which demands heightened sensitivity to uneven arrangements of power the world over.  A vital contribution to the nascent field of critical adaptation studies, this theoretically informed, empirically rich text offers a much needed analytical arsenal for confronting the relations of power that subtend current conditions of crisis." Andrew Baldwin, Department of Geography, Durham University, UK

    "This excellent book successfully highlights and critiques the often neutral and apolitical manner in which climate change adaptation is discussed. Through a series of rich empirical case studies from different parts of the world, this book brings politics back in, revealing how actors on global, regional and local levels negotiate different adaptation futures, and what injustices and vulnerabilities emerge around these power dynamics. A must-read for all those – scholars and policy-makers – working on climate adaptation." Ingrid Boas, Assistant Professor, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

    "The lived experience of climate change is not just about transforming landscapes and livelihoods; it is also about navigating and adapting to climate policies that may serve to exacerbate and re-entrench existing inequalities. This new collection of empirically-informed research exposes these inequalities and will become an essential part of the climate change literature. Contributions to the collection range from remote villages to the boardroom, and have much to teach students, scholars, and policymakers about the implications not only of a changing climate, but also of the policies designed to address it." Heather Lazrus, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, USA

    "In this compelling volume, global experts innovatively confront and respond to a critical concern of contemporary climate change adaptation: the apolitical nature that seems to pervade discourse, governance efforts and scholarship. The first of its kind, the book offers powerful insights into potential ways to account for the multiple evolving social dynamics that are critical within the framework of climate change adaptation in various spaces. It is destined to become a key reference for those interested in interrogating the political implications behind climate change adaptation." Louis J. Kotzé, Research Professor of Law, North-West University, South Africa, and Marie Curie Research Fellow, University of Lincoln, UK

    "This diverse and enriching peer-reviewed volume exposes climate change adaptation to an overtly critical gaze. This book provides an urgently needed and empirically grounded critique of climate adaptation’s purported neutrality, and, by resisting the ideological erasure of the politics at the heart of contemporary adaptation projects, pushes back against the ‘naturalisation’ of climate and adaptation discourses and strategies. ‘Denaturalising’ climate adaptation could scarcely be more important for resisting patterns of climate injustice. This volume makes that case, and makes it persuasively." Anna Grear, Professor of Law and Theory, Cardiff University, UK

    "The destructive potential of climate change is one of the most complex human issues of the present century. Taking into account different regional contexts, the works included in this volume provide an urgently needed critical perspective on power relations and on the different types of injustices that are present in the global agendas of adaptation to climate change."  Gabriela Merlinksy, researcher at Institute Gino Germani, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

    "The strength of the book are the rich case studies from the Global South which challenge the homogenising policy-making that plagues climate projects. In directing attention not only to policy-making but to the politics of the everyday in diverse contexts, the authors challenge the depoliticising thrust of climate policies and echo the feminist slogan - the personal is political – as they show how everyday lives are embroiled in climate politics across various scales. A must read for all seeking to understand the many different ways of working constructively with climate politics." Seema Arora-Jonsson, Associate Professor, Chair for Rural Development in Sweden and Europe, SLU, Uppsala, Sweden

    "This is a timely and exciting collection. Building on existing critiques of the limits and perils of adaptation projects in specific locations, the collected chapters work toward understanding adaptation as a much broader political formation. Contributors carefully unpack the political and conceptual origins of adaptation, demonstrate the global reach of adaptation rationalities, and offer important new insights into the significance of adaptation as a mode of governance in the Global South. An important and rich contribution to the growing field of critical climate research." Emilie Cameron, Associate Professor, Carleton University, Canada