Making Sense of Adaptation: The adaptation practice in a governance perspective

Last changed: 29 April 2021

This project investigates how and why Swedish climate adaptation is enacted in particular ways and how inherent governance struggles and choices are thereby handled.

As analytical tool we use social practice theory and view adaptation as a social practice guided by norms and routines that are created and upheld by the actors involved. We collect additional inspiration from collaborative and interactive governance theories and thus view the practice as embedded in the particular Swedish adaptation governance regime. 

The project is structured in three, interrelated, parts: 

  • zooming in on the adaptation practice to develop understanding of how it is enacted and why;
  • zooming out focusing on how governance struggles and choices are handled (and which are not) and the potential implications for adaptation governance;
  • looking forward by providing input for climate adaptation action.

Data is generated by exploring key sites in this regime through participant observations and semi structured interviews.  In the analysis we combine a situated and sense-making approach with a contextual understanding of the governance conditions to be able to identify their relationship. Based on our findings and in collaboration with participants of the practice we will suggest possible pathways for change. In this project we thus engage in research on as well as for adaptation


Project leader

Lotten Westberg, Associate Professor, Researcher, Division of Environmental Communication, SLU

Project participants

Steffen Boehm, Professor, University of Exter
Read more on Steffen Boehm's presentation page

Project time


External funding