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Legal and Institutional Foundations of Adaptive Environmental Governance

dc.contributor.authorRuhl, J.B.
dc.contributor.authorDeCaro, Daniel A.
dc.contributor.authorChaffin, Brian C.
dc.contributor.authorSchlager, Edella
dc.contributor.authorGarmestani, Ahjond S.
dc.identifier.citation22 Ecology and Society 32 (2017)en_US
dc.descriptionarticle published in a journal of integrative scienceen_US
dc.description.abstractLegal and institutional structures fundamentally shape opportunities for adaptive governance of environmental resources at multiple ecological and societal scales. Properties of adaptive governance are widely studied. However, these studies have not resulted in consolidated frameworks for legal and institutional design, limiting our ability to promote adaptation and social-ecological resilience.We develop an overarching framework that describes the current and potential role of law in enabling adaptation. We apply this framework to different social-ecological settings, centers of activity, and scales, illustrating the multidimensional and polycentric nature of water governance. Adaptation typically emerges organically among multiple centers of agency and authority in society as a relatively self-organized or autonomous process marked by innovation, social learning, and political deliberation. This self-directed and emergent process is difficult to create in an exogenous, top-down fashion. However, traditional centers of authority may establish enabling conditions for adaptation using a suite of legal, economic, and democratic tools to legitimize and facilitate self-organization, coordination, and collaboration across scales. The principles outlined here provide preliminary legal and institutional foundations for adaptive environmental governance, which may inform institutional design and guide future scholarship.en_US
dc.format.extent1 PDF (21 pages)en_US
dc.publisherEcology and Societyen_US
dc.subjectadaptive governanceen_US
dc.subjectclimate changeen_US
dc.subjectdesign principlesen_US
dc.subjectsocial-ecological resilienceen_US
dc.subject.lcshEnvironmental lawen_US
dc.titleLegal and Institutional Foundations of Adaptive Environmental Governanceen_US

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