An emerging component of the adaptation discourse, embracing theory, practice and review, is that of the negative assessment of adaptation, namely, maladaptation. Political theories and concepts have been applied as one of these assessment tools, giving rise to a political critique of maladaptation. Such a critique contrasts with the more conventional scientific and technical assessments of adaptation policies, programs and practices. Key political themes in studies of maladaptation include resource management and allocations, decision making processes, equity and fairness, gender, power and influence, and Nature and ecology. Within the scholarship on the politics of maladaptation, overlapping frameworks can be identified. Critiques of adaptation have been applied to the preconditions of adaptation, adaptation decision making processes and institutions, and to adaptation outcomes. There are a number of conceptual challenges in undertaking political analyses of adaptation. In this article, we outline the origins of the adaptation and maladaptation concepts, we describe the key political issues, we identify the application of politics in the maladaptation discourse and identify the major political perspectives. Finally, we draw conclusions on the state of the maladaptation discourse.
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