Climate adaptation policy lock-ins

Research methods

This project uses mixed methods to examine how lock-in dynamics are created, maintained and shaped over time. Our research draws from in-depth document analysis, interviews and workshops with selected policymakers and practitioners working at different scales. 

Using an analytical technique called process tracing, we will identify the origins of lock-in dynamics and interactions between feedback mechanisms as well as contextual factors, which can impede change, sustain the status quo or make it difficult to diversify policy responses to climate change adaptation. Equally, the research will examine how lock-in dynamics have been or are being dissolved and ‘unlocked’ to support adaptation, to help identify specific strategies for counteracting the potentially problematic effects of policy lock-ins. 

Looking across case studies in Germany, the Netherlands and UK, we intend to use Qualitative Comparative Analysis to identify common and unique lock-in dynamics (and underlying conditions) affecting climate change adaptation.