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Climate change as governmentality: technologies of government for adaptation in three European countries


  • E. Carina H. Keskitalo
  • Sirkku Juhola
  • Lisa Westerhoff


Using the Foucauldian theoretical framework of governmentality, this paper examines the role of regulative ‘technologies of government’ in climate change adaptation. The paper examines such technologies and underlying rationalities in a multi-level context, in three European countries that represent different stages of adaptation policy development: the UK, Finland and Sweden. Drawing upon policy documents and interviews at different levels, the paper illustrates differences in technologies of government for adaptation between the relatively ‘regulative’ UK state system and Finland and Sweden's traditional legalistic and welfarist systems. The study illustrates that, while the treatment of adaptation as an issue on a national level coheres with national rationalities, local and regional levels show a diversity in the development of bottom-up adaptation technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Carina H. Keskitalo & Sirkku Juhola & Lisa Westerhoff, 2012. "Climate change as governmentality: technologies of government for adaptation in three European countries," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 55(4), pages 435-452, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:55:y:2012:i:4:p:435-452
    DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2011.607994

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sir Nicholas Stern, 2006. "What is the Economics of Climate Change?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(2), pages 1-10, April.
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