Leadership within regional climate change adaptation networks: the case of climate adaptation officers in Northern Hesse, Germany
SourceRegional Environmental Change, 16, 6, (2016), pp. 1543-1555
26 november 2015
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
Politicologie t/m 2019
Regional Environmental Change
SubjectInstitute for Management Research
In the climate adaptation literature, leadership tends to be an understudied factor, although it may be crucial for regional adaptation governance. This article shows how leadership can be usefully conceptualized and operationalized within regional governance networks dealing with climate adaptation. It applies an integrative framework inspired by complexity leadership theory, distinguishing several leadership functions to enhance the adaptive capacity of regional networks. We focus on one specific institutional innovation, appointed climate adaptation officers, who seek to connect science and governance practice, and to mainstream climate adaptation. Our question is twofold: What is the potential of climate adaptation officers to advance the adaptation agenda and to what extent did their establishment and working practice mirror the various leadership functions needed to raise the adaptive capacity of the regional network they operated in? The integrative leadership framework structures the analysis of climate adaptation officers forming part of a government-funded project seeking to enhance adaptation to climate variability in the central German region of Northern Hesse. The data consist of interviews with scientists and regional authority employees and project documentation including an evaluation. We find that climate adaptation officers raised awareness for climate adaptation and helped to shape and implement a number of projects within the overall KLIMZUG programme, highlighting impeding and enabling factors. The process of setting up this institutional innovation involved all forms of leadership functions and is an example of vertical mainstreaming. Its operation involved most clearly enabling and connective leadership functions and is an example of horizontal mainstreaming.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.