Evidence, uncertainty and wicked problems in climate change decision-making in Australia

Head, Brian W. (2014) Evidence, uncertainty and wicked problems in climate change decision-making in Australia. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 32 4: 663-679. doi:10.1068/c1240

Author Head, Brian W.
Title Evidence, uncertainty and wicked problems in climate change decision-making in Australia
Journal name Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0263-774X
Publication date 2014-08-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1068/c1240
Open Access Status
Volume 32
Issue 4
Start page 663
End page 679
Total pages 17
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Pion
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Policy makers have had great difficulty in understanding and responding effectively to complex or ‘wicked’ problems. Contentious policy initiatives are hard to implement when knowledge bases are divergent and incomplete, when short-term interests conflict with long-term benefits, and when problems are construed or framed in very different ways. These features of wicked problems have been central in Australian debates about initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to address the likely impacts of climate change. Given the closely interconnected nature of social, technical, legal–political, economic, and natural-resource issues, the political challenges of managing adaptive change are numerous. A strategic adaptation framework is necessary to complement ongoing mitigation efforts directed at greenhouse gas reduction. Strategic innovation requires pluralistic and adaptive processes, such as multistakeholder forums, consideration of scenario analyses, and the use of boundary organizations. In light of the highly contested nature of the issues, the multiple bases of knowledge and interests, and the provisional nature of adaptation choices, there are major policy governance challenges facing the Australian government and stakeholders in grappling with climate adaptation.
Keyword Wicked problems
Climate change policy
Scientific uncertainty
Adaptation strategy
Emission trading
Capacity building
Climate change policy development
Adaptation management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2015 Collection
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 16 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 18 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 28 Aug 2014, 16:46:57 EST by Professor Brian Head on behalf of ISSR - Research Groups