Call for abstracts closed. See here for blog describing workshop and outcomes.

Administrative traditions and adaptation policy

Climate change risk has driven many States across the globe to formulate and implement policy innovations to adapt to the current and projected impacts. While there certainly is some convergence in how States respond to climate risks, the administrative traditions of States still shape the particularities of how policy innovation, adoption and implementation within a country takes place. Administrative traditions are distinctive structural-institutional and cultural features of public bureaucracies and administrations that influence what kind of new public governance is created, how policy goals are defined, which policy choice options exist, and set the implementation preferences of actors. Administrative traditions are often portrayed at the legacy effects that constrain policy innovation to address complex societal issues. So far the scholarly literature has remained indistinctive about the role of administrative traditions. This fully funded workshop will bring together 15-20 scholars under the flag of the COST Action INOGOV (Innovations in Climate Governance) to discuss the role of administrative traditions in climate change adaptation policy.

The workshop aims to stimulate thinking about the role administrative traditions of States, their public bureaucracies and public management, play in the adoption and implementation of climate change adaptation policy. We invite social scientists from all disciplines, but particularly the fields of public policy, public administration and public management to debate how and to what extent administrative traditions matter for climate change adaptation policy. We welcome theoretical papers, methodological papers, and empirical studies or combinations thereof; and invite abstracts that discuss and examine these processes from a comparative perspective (between sectors, levels or countries). The aim is to publish the papers, subject to normal review process, as a special volume in a high ranked scientific journal/or edited book.

Topical themes
The workshop is open to a broad variety of interpretations of the relationship between administrative traditions and climate change adaptation, but we strongly encourage submissions on the following pertinent questions:

  • Do adoption and implementation patterns differ across countries with different administrative traditions? And are countries with hybrid administrative styles more likely to adopt certain adaptation policies than other administrative traditions? Do certain families of administrative traditions lead to better or more effective adaptation policy output/outcomes?
  • Are there particular aspects of the public administration that can explain different choices in the depth, scope and pace of policy innovation adoption and implementation? To what extent do behavioural or structural characteristics of administrations explain for example different policy instrument choices for the design and implementation of adaptation?
  • Does (mis)alignment of policy innovations and the administrative tradition help or hinder the policy implementation process?
  • What is the relative importance of administrative traditions versus broader social and political forces to shape adaptation policy innovation?

Practicalities and submission deadlines

The workshop will be funded under the 4 year COST Action INOGOV (IS1309 Innovations in Climate Governance: Sources, Patterns and Effects) (2014-8). INOGOV will cover reasonable travel costs and accommodation of all invited authors, subject to standard COST reimbursement and eligibility rules.

Interested participants/authors are encouraged to submit 500 word abstracts by 15 November 2015 as a first step towards full paper development. Please send your abstract to the workshop organiser Dr Robbert Biesbroek (robbert.biesbroek(at)

Authors will be notified of acceptance/rejection by 1 December 2015 and those selected to contribute to the workshop will receive funding to cover their costs of participation. Contributing authors are expected to submit a full first draft of their paper by 26 March 2016 to be distributed to all workshop participants before the workshop. The drafts will be intensively debated at the workshop and full papers should tentatively be submitted for the review process by 30 July 2016.

Authors with specific questions are encouraged to contact workshop organiser Dr Robbert Biesbroek (robbert.biesbroek(at)


  • Dr Robbert Biesbroek, Public Administration and Policy group, Wageningen University, the Netherlands
  • Professor Dr B. Guy Peters, Department of Political Science, University of Pittsburgh, United States of America.
  • Professor Dr Jale Tosun, Department of Political Science, Heidelberg University, Germany.



Photo credit: Tom Jutte/Flickr

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.