ABSTRACT

The focus in this study is on governance as the framework that to a large extent delimits adaptive capacity available at the local level. This perspective will be investigated through local stakeholders’ definitions of the actors that have an impact on them and their livelihoods. Accordingly, the study places a fundamentally qualitative, social scientific focus on the primacy of stakeholders’ understandings. It also highlights and utilizes some of the methodological features of vulnerability assessment discussed in the previous chapter. These include a focus on social vulnerability based on the present and including a specific assessment of particular stresses, in the present case climate change. In addition, the study assesses the impact of globalization, which is seen as affecting the distribution and characteristics of the governance network. In keeping with some consensus in the vulnerability assessment field (Turner et al, 2003; Schröter et al, 2005), the research recognizes the value of a place-based study that includes higher scales, focuses on multiple stresses and notes the differential vulnerability among different types and scales of actors. The study thus includes an approach based on a bottom-up, practical focus in community-based vulnerability assessment but extends this through a multi-level perspective and, to some extent, the inclusion of varying vulnerabilities at the level of individuals or their livelihoods.