Foxes, hedgehogs, and greenhouse governance: Knowledge, uncertainty, and international policy-making in a warming World
Global environmental challenges like greenhouse warming are characterized by profound uncertainties about the workings of complex systems, high stakes as to the costs and benefits of various possible actions, and important differences concerning the values that should shape public choices, confounding ready resolution by conventional decision-making procedures. So-called adaptive or reflexive governance strategies provide policy-makers an alternative framework for tackling the greenhouse problem. Adaptive governance employs deliberate experimentation and continuous learning-by-doing to test and adjust ongoing policy responses. Yet pursuing such approaches poses particular challenges to global climate cooperation. In an increasingly interdependent world, coordinating multiple parties experimentally adopting different climate measures could prove contentious. Unequivocal policy lessons may be difficult to draw and apply. Timely collective revisions to ongoing policies may prove more difficult still to define and agree. Advocates must engage these issues directly and develop means of addressing them if adaptive governance approaches are to allow policy-makers to formulate better strategies for combating climate change.
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Volume (Year): 86 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
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