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Social capital and climate change mitigation in coastal areas: A review of current debates and identification of future research directions

Jones, N. and Clark, J.R.A. (2013). Social capital and climate change mitigation in coastal areas: A review of current debates and identification of future research directions. Ocean & Coastal Management, 80 pp. 12–19.

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To develop public policies that respond to climate change demands examination of multiple physical and social variables. In the context of coastal zone management, these range from addressing prevailing environmental conditions, to accommodating the socio-economic needs of local communities and acknowledging the attitudes, norms and environmental behaviours of individuals. This paper focuses on these social aspects and develops an explanatory framework to model the effectiveness of coastal management policies based on the role of social capital. Although some studies have emphasised the positive influence of social capital on natural resources management, so far little research has been undertaken linking social capital as a multi-dimensional characteristic with the level of public receptiveness to policies seeking to mitigate risk at the coast. This paper analyzes the influence of three social capital elements on public responsiveness: social trust, institutional trust and social networks. The paper postulates that higher levels of social and institutional trust result in more positive community perceptions of proposed policies for coastal management. Similar reactions are expected in communities where dense social networks lead to higher levels of environmental awareness. The paper then identifies potential new areas of research that might address the current lack of consideration of non-economic social costs and benefits on public acceptability of coastal management policies. A principal claim made here is that higher levels of policy acceptability are generally evident in coastal communities with strong social capital, as such communities tend to perceive low social costs and high benefits arising from policy intervention.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2013 Elsevier
ISSN: 0964-5691
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 38431
Depositing User: Nikoleta Jones
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2013 08:39
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:45
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