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Crafting Rules by Discourse: Analyzing Urban Institutional Changes in the Face of Climate Change

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Hagedorn, Konrad; Reusswig, Fritz
Conference: Shared Resources in a Rapidly Changing World, European Regional Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons
Location: Agricultural University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Conf. Date: September 14-17
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7691
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Urban Commons
Subject(s): climate change
environmental change
urban affairs
institutional analysis
Abstract: "The institutional analysis of the management of common pool resources (CPRs) has a strong focus on local/regional cases (e.g. forests, local water bodies), and it concentrates on 'social statics' (Comte), due to the comparative nature of analysis. With climate change, institutional analysis of CPRs is confronted with a double challenge: (1) we have to address cross-scale issues, linking the global to the local level, and encompassing multi-level governance questions. (2) We need to think much more in terms of social dynamics, addressing problems of actual rule-making (and rule-change) in the face of expected (future) socio-environmental problems. In this paper we will try to face these challenges by focusing on urban climate policies, including both adaptation and mitigation. By comparing German (Potsdam, Berlin) and Indian (Hyderabad, Delhi) cities that deal with climate change at various levels and in different contexts of governance, we will particularly address (1) what are the problems (experienced and anticipated climate change impacts) these cities are confronted with, and who does bring them how to the fore? (2) What set of actors do propagate climate policies in these cities, what are their interests, rule and resource endowments? (3) In what action arenas do these actors operate, and more particularly: how does their interaction help to create new (sub-) arenas of the emerging field of urban climate policy? (4) How can these actors, embedded in local and national institutions and governance modes, create new rules (if needed), and what kind of discourses do the use in order to do so? (5) Is there any link between the institutional dynamics and the outcome in terms of changed patterns of resource use and greenhouse gas emissions? The paper will try to answer these questions by own case study research in different projects. Methodologically, we will start from Elinor Ostrom's institutional analysis and development framework, but modify it based on our own research experiences, which was inspired by Anthony Giddens' thesis of the 'duality of structure', which we interpret as an entry point for institutional change. We conclude by linking the local level back to the larger global picture, arguing in favor of an institutional opening of the UNFCCC process to the level of local climate policies that we can observe emerging across the planet."

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