Adaptive governance for social and ecological transitions

Governance of sustainable places goes well beyond promoting environmentally responsible behaviour to more reflexive practices. These take into account the complex interactions between social, economic and ecological systems.

Governance involves the interactions between government, other public bodies, private sector and those in civil society addressing public policy issues.

It requires governance practices that are anticipatory, multi-level, oriented towards the long-term, and are open to learning, more inclusive deliberation, innovation and adaptation. This means moving away from the traditional forms of governance which require certainty and clear goals, and also overcoming the problems of policy integration across sectors and spaces.

This research programme explored, both theoretically and through evidence-based practice, adaptive and reflexive governance for the management of sustainable places. It also worked to identify sustainable solutions, and confront the problems of policy integration by using comparative data and evidence of best and 'least worst' practice.

Additionally, the programme included a focus on the Welsh governance context; making a distinct contribution to the work of Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) and the Wales Governance Centre.

Major expertise was drawn from the Schools of Earth and Ocean Sciences, European Languages, Translation and Politics, Geography and Planning, and Social Sciences. Particular emphasis was on the role of governance practices in promoting social innovation and sustainable living, as well as adapting to climate change.

Main contacts