Enabling Adaptive Governance: Defining the Role of Government in New Governance

36 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2019

See all articles by Barbara A. Cosens

Barbara A. Cosens

University of Idaho - College of Law

J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Niko Soininen

University of Helsinki; University of Eastern Finland

Date Written: August 5, 2019


Regulation of landscape scale social-ecological systems is insufficient alone to navigate accelerating environmental change. In parallel with experimentation in new governance in the face of globalization, adaptive governance is emerging to address problems of scarcity and value-based conflict over use and preservation at the landscape scale. This paper explores how governance is evolving to address increasing complexity; why adaptive governance emerges in response to the inadequacy of existing governance at the landscape scale; the relation of adaptive governance to traditional regulatory and market approaches; and what legal reform is necessary to allow government to navigate among governance options to enhance the capacity of society to adapt to accelerating change. State assistance in building adaptive capacity, and capacity to itself adapt, accelerating change must complement traditional approaches to governance if society is to navigate accelerating environmental and social change.

Keywords: governance, adaptive governance, climate change, social-ecological systems, adaptive law

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Cosens, Barbara A. and Ruhl, J. B. and Soininen, Niko, Enabling Adaptive Governance: Defining the Role of Government in New Governance (August 5, 2019). Vanderbilt Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3432504 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3432504

Barbara A. Cosens (Contact Author)

University of Idaho - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 442321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321
United States
208 885-6298 (Phone)
208 885-2859 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uidaho.edu/law/people/faculty/bcosens

J. B. Ruhl

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

Niko Soininen

University of Helsinki ( email )

Porthania 4th Floor
P.O. Box 4
Helsinki, Uusimaa FIN-0001 4

HOME PAGE: http://https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/fi/persons/niko-soininen

University of Eastern Finland ( email )

+358504323054 (Phone)

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