Abstract: Intuitively it is clear that institutions can both enhance and hamper the adaptive capacity of a society. But what characteristics make an institution more or less helpful for development and implementation of adaptation strategies? Based on the literature, we developed an analytical framework to assess the adaptive capacity of institutions. The Adaptive Capacity Wheel consists of six dimensions: variety, learning, autonomous ability to change, leadership, legitimacy and resources. The six dimensions were operationalised into 22 criteria and were applied to formal institutions in a content analysis. We conclude that sometimes dimensions and criteria seem to contradict each other, which is not surprising, because this reflects existing paradoxes in the governance of society. We would like to discuss the analytical instrument and its possible uses with the audience of the Amsterdam Conference.

Department of Public Administration

Klostermann, J., Gupta, J., Termeer, C., Meijerink, S., van den Brink, M., Nooteboom, S., … Biesbroek, R. (2009). How to assess the adaptive capacity of legislation and policies. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/31374