ECPR Summer School on Environmental Politics and Policy location:Keele University date:7-18 July 2008
Climate change is one of the risks the contemporary society is confronted with. The paper focuses in particular on flood risks. Along other drivers, climate change is expected to increase flood risks. Therefore, policymakers are urged to take measures to anticipate to these risks. However, implementation of flood mitigation measures is often confronted with social protests. Local people contest measures proposed by policymakers and consider the prevailing policymaking as illegitimate. This paper is based on the assumption that stakeholder participation in policymaking might increase social and political support to flood measures and solve the impediments currently experienced in implementation. In the first paragraphs, the flood policy problem is explored as well as the paradigm shift towards more participation in flood policy. Then, the implementation problem is explained based on two theoretical views: modernity theory and governance theory. Modernity theory argues that the causes are inherent to increasing risks and uncertainties and the demonopolization of science, while governance theory considers the increasing complexity of interactions as the main cause. The fourth paragraph explores how stakeholder participation can be organized. And the last part considers the analytical framework of the PhD.-research that aims to analyze how stakeholder participation in flood risk management should be organised to achieve social and political support towards flood measures and which process and context variables are important. The research will be carried out during 2008-2010 and therefore, concluding results are not yet available.