Knowledge as a national tool to influence institutional changes : A study of the barriers and opportunities of national authorities to support collaborative action within climate change adaptation on the municipal level

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Tema teknik och social förändring

Abstract: Intersectoral collaboration has been established as essential in the work on climate change adaptation at the municipal level, but the municipalities face several institutional constraints to working across sectors. Because climate change adaptation is situated in a multilevel governance system, the national level has a role to play in institutional change at the municipal level. This thesis focuses on knowledge as an influential tool and sets out to investigate the potential of the national level to support collaborative action at the municipal level that challenges current institutions characterised by working in separate sectors. This is done by analysing the work of the National Knowledge centre for Climate Change Adaptation as they play a central role in the knowledge production on climate change adaptation at the national level. The findings of this thesis contribute to a better understanding of the barriers and opportunities that faces a national authority when supporting the municipalities through knowledge. These are mainly connected to the efficiency of the multilevel governance system, where increased horizontal and vertical interaction could facilitate the knowledge production to better support institutional change. The findings indicate that the regional level have a key role to play in enabling interaction across the system. Furthermore, national authorities must find ways to support collaborative municipal action without encroaching on the municipal autonomy. The findings give indications on what form knowledge could take to achieve this. 

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