SC H OOL OF H U M A N ECOLOG Y SE M I N A R SERIES
Democratic Local Institutions and Public Support Systems
Thinking through the governance of climate change adaptation
DR. HARRY FISCHER
Associate Senior Lecturer, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Helping vulnerable communities confront the challenges of climate change is now a priority for policy makers around the world. Yet how to effectively structure public support remains the object of debate. Significant scholarship has focused on the role of local institutions in facilitating climate adaptation. Local institutions, it is argued, are well positioned to link state support with complex and changing needs on the ground. This presentation elaborates a conceptual foundation for
analyzing why local institutions matter for climate adaptation, as well as some of the factors that may enable them to do so effectively. I then present the findings from two different studies that highlight different dimensions of local climate governance. In the first study, I analyze the role of public participation in helping to support the generation of more
effective, locally-tailored small scale infrastructure to improve water access and availability in the face of water stress. In second study, I analyze how multiple institutions may work together to target the needs of different rural producers, and the social networks through which households access these institutions. The conclusion draws lessons from these cases to highlight several priorities for future research that can help to improve understanding of how to better govern climate support at local and subnational levels.
Harry Fischer is an Associate Senior Lecturer at the Department of Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. His work focuses on democratic decentralization, climate adaptation, and natural resource governance. He holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.