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Shaping conditions for entrepreneurship in climate change adaptation: a case study of an emerging governance arrangement in the Netherlands

Debora de Block, Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University and Research
Peter H. Feindt, Albrecht Daniel Thaer Institute for Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, Humboldt University at Berlin; Strategic Communication, Wageningen University
Erik van Slobbe, Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University and Research

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-10310-240119

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Abstract

Planning and implementation of regional climate change adaptation requires new, integrated governance arrangements that often involve public and private actors. Although entrepreneurship is widely considered an important part of such arrangements, little is known about the conditions that enable it, and its actual role is under-researched. Through an in-depth case study of an ecosystem-based adaptation project in the Netherlands, we have analyzed how the variegated actors in a governance network shape six conditions for entrepreneurial success, established in the entrepreneurship literature. Through a framing analysis, we found that all six conditions, i.e., prior career experience, altruistic motivations, financial motives, social networks, financial capital availability, and policies and regulations, were the object of constant negotiations. Their salience varied during the project as a result of variegated framing practices. In the early stages, issue, identity, and relationship frames were used to create a network of people with a range of relevant experience, connected by altruistic motivations. However, as the project progressed, distrust frames and different spatial- and temporal-scale frames created tensions between public and private actors. Accordingly, process frames, financial motivations, and capital availability became increasingly salient, reflecting the need to consolidate rules, roles, and responsibilities. The findings suggest that approaches to climate change adaptation imply ongoing struggles over the conditions that enable entrepreneurial success. We thereby add an important new dimension to the study of adaptation governance.

Key words

climate change; ecosystem-based adaptation; entrepreneurship; governance arrangements

Copyright © 2019 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

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Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087