Articles | Volume 79, issue 1
Standard article
16 Jan 2024
Standard article |  | 16 Jan 2024

Theorizing power and agency in state-initiated municipal climate change adaptation: integrating reflexive capacity into adaptive capacity

Dennis Fila, Hartmut Fünfgeld, and Stefanie Lorenz

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Cited articles

Alexandra, J. and Rickards, L.: The Contested Politics of Drought, Water Security and Climate Adaptation in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin, Water Alternativ., 14, 773–794, 2021. 
Ansell, C.: Institutionalism, in: The Palgrave Handbook of EU Crises, Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics, edited by: Riddervold, M., Trondal, J., and Newsome, A., Palgrave Macmillan, Cham,, 2021. 
Barnes, M. L., Wang, P., Cinner, J. E., Graham, N. A., Guerrero, A. M., Jasny, L., Lau, J., Sutcliffe, S. R., and Zamborain-Mason, J.: Social determinants of adaptive and transformative responses to climate change, Nat. Clim. Change, 10, 823–828,, 2020. 
Bauriedl, S.: Geschlechterkonstruktionen in Umweltdiskursen – Verfestigung und Aufweichen von Geschlechterdualismen, in: Nachhaltigkeit anders denken. Veränderungspotenziale durch Geschlechterperspektiven, Aufl. 2015, edited by: Katz, C., Heilmann, S., Thiem, A., Moths, K., Koch, L. M., and Hofmeister, S., Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden, 101–113,, 2015. 
Bettini, Y., Brown, R. R., and de Haan, F. J.: Exploring institutional adaptive capacity in practice: examining water governance adaptation in Australia, Ecol. Soc., 20, 47,, 2015. 
Short summary
This paper explores the role of power, institutions, and actors in climate change adaptation. We introduce reflexive capacity, which is the ability of organizations to include diverse stakeholders and knowledge in decision-making. By analyzing a case study from Germany, we highlight how this capacity can transform over time and impact adaptation strategies. We conclude that understanding power and agency in this context can provide important insights for improving climate change adaptation.