Next Article in Journal
The UK’s Emissions and Employment Footprints: Exploring the Trade-Offs
Next Article in Special Issue
Accelerating Transition Dynamics in City Regions: A Qualitative Modeling Perspective
Previous Article in Journal
Dynamic Technological Diversification and Its Impact on Firms’ Performance: An Empirical Analysis of Korean IT Firms
Previous Article in Special Issue
Environmental Governance for the Anthropocene? Social-Ecological Systems, Resilience, and Collaborative Learning
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1244;

Strategic Adaptive Governance and Climate Change: Policymaking during Extreme Political Upheaval

Department of Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1156 High St., Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 May 2017 / Revised: 9 July 2017 / Accepted: 12 July 2017 / Published: 16 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Governance for Sustainability)
Full-Text   |   PDF [219 KB, uploaded 16 July 2017]


Adaptive governance seeks to address complicated and difficult policy problems. Due to the extreme political upheaval wrought by the Trump administration’s dismantling of federal climate change programs, many state and local governments are considering new policy approaches. Yet by ignoring crucial aspects of politics and intergovernmental relations, the adaptive governance literature provides little guidance for such substantial issues. This paper introduces the concept of strategic adaptive governance, a framework for permitting policymakers to achieve the highest rate of compliance possible under existing conditions and constraints involving state and local policy, despite political upheaval. The strategic adaptive governance model embraces politics, accounts for the role of central authorities, and emphasizes the motivations, resources, and interdependencies of affected parties. We apply the model in an analysis of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), examining the extent to which it aligns with strategic adaptive governance, and evaluating the potential for the state to utilize the model. We find that AB 32 aligns moderately with strategic adaptive governance, and discuss how the model could help protect and enhance policy gains. More broadly, strategic adaptive governance provides a generic and universal framework for policymakers interested in tactical formulation of any regulatory policy. View Full-Text
Keywords: strategic adaptive governance; governance; adaptation; collaboration; resilience strategic adaptive governance; governance; adaptation; collaboration; resilience
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Armstrong, J.H.; Kamieniecki, S. Strategic Adaptive Governance and Climate Change: Policymaking during Extreme Political Upheaval. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1244.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top