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Type: Journal article
Title: Towards socially just adaptive climate governance: the transformative potential of conflict
Author: Nursey-Bray, M.
Citation: Local Environment, 2017; 22(2):156-171
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 1354-9839
Statement of
Melissa Nursey-Bray
Abstract: Conflict is an important factor in ongoing climate change debates and its role in management is under increasing scrutiny. In this paper, I present the results of an advanced discourse analysis that analyses trends in the relationship between conflict and climate change. I present two primary discourses dominate discussion: (i) climate as a security risk and (ii) climate as one of many factors affecting power relations that may lead to conflict. Both narratives implicitly or explicitly discuss climate conflict as a cause-outcome relationship, and further primarily construct conflict and climate change within normative frames. Yet, conflict has transformative potential and can be incorporated into management in ways that harness its capacity to drive innovation and lead to more robust and just adaptive governance. I argue for a shift in the discursive frame from a cause– outcome-oriented approach to a process-driven approach, one that treats conflict as an integral part of adaptive governance processes, thus being more just and equitable. Such a shift in focus can lead to positive on ground climate adaptation outcomes, in ways that respect rather than are counter-intuitive to dominant political and societal imbalances and institutional structures.
Keywords: Climate change; adaptive governance; conflict; social justice
Description: Published online: 27 May 2016
Rights: © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
RMID: 0030050430
DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2016.1181618
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Geography, Environment and Population publications

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