Exploring institutional adaptive capacity in practice: examining water governance adaptation in Australia

Bettini, Yvette, Brown, Rebekah R. and de Haan, Fjalar J. (2015) Exploring institutional adaptive capacity in practice: examining water governance adaptation in Australia. Ecology and Society, 20 1: 47.1-47.20. doi:10.5751/ES-07291-200147


Author Bettini, Yvette
Brown, Rebekah R.
de Haan, Fjalar J.
Title Exploring institutional adaptive capacity in practice: examining water governance adaptation in Australia
Journal name Ecology and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1708-3087
Publication date 2015-03-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5751/ES-07291-200147
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 20
Issue 1
Start page 47.1
End page 47.20
Total pages 20
Place of publication Waterloo, ON, Canada
Publisher Resilience Alliance Publications
Language eng
Abstract Adaptive capacity is widely held as a key property of resilient and transformative social-ecological systems. However, current knowledge of the term does not yet address key questions of how to operationalize this system condition to address sustainability challenges through research and policy. This paper explores temporal and agency dimensions of adaptive capacity in practice to better understand how system conditions and attributes enable adaptation. An institutional dynamics lens is employed to systemically examine empirical cases of change in urban water management. Comparative analysis of two Australian cities' drought response is conducted using institutional analysis and qualitative system dynamics mapping techniques. The study finds that three forms of adaptive capacity appear critical: the ability to learn, decide, and act. The analytical approach developed provides insight into change dynamics and the agency mechanisms that generate them. The paper proposes a typology of adaptive capacity by characterizing these change dynamics and mechanisms for locked-in, crisis, reorganizing, and stabilizing systems. This set of propositions on institutional conditions and forms of adaptive capacity is offered to further advance research on the topic and help to operationalize adaptive capacity in practice.
Keyword Adaptive capacity
Institutions
Resilience
Transformation
Water governance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol20/iss1/art47/

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Institute for Social Science Research - Publications
Official 2016 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 05 Mar 2015, 19:48:14 EST by Yvette Bettini on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research