Call for Papers

                            A fully funded workshop on

                        University of Notre Dame
                          April 28-May 1, 2017



Debra Javeline, University of Notre Dame (
Nives Dolsak, University of Washington, Seattle (
Aseem Prakash, University of Washington, Seattle (


                              Sponsored by

University of Notre Dame
Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Henkels Lecture Series
Keough School of Global Affairs
ND-GAIN with the Environmental Change Initiative
Global Commons Initiative
Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy)
Department of Political Science

University of Washington, Seattle
Center for Environmental Politics


                          Workshop Objectives

The scientific and moral case for climate change mitigation is a powerful one.
However, even in a best case scenario where the Paris agreement is implemented
and where countries take multilateral and unilateral actions to reduce
emissions of greenhouse gases, the world will still need to adapt.  The
greenhouse gases already emitted into the atmosphere “commit” the planet to
further warming and the oceans to centuries of thermal expansion.  Mitigation
efforts will hopefully succeed in reducing the harmful impacts of global
temperature increases, but the world needs to prepare for the impacts that will
inevitably materialize and, in many cases, are already materializing.

Adaptation is the reduction of vulnerability to climate change.  It involves
changes in business-as-usual approaches and policies so that we better protect
our coasts, cities, communities, water supply, food supply, public health,
ecosystems, and infrastructure.  Because of continued warming, adaptation is
widely seen as a crucial accompaniment of mitigation efforts.

This workshop will showcase cutting edge social science research on climate
change adaptation. Specifically, we want to see the climate adaptation
scholarship  move beyond intentions and plans and focus on  policy
implementation, policy change, policy outputs, and if possible, policy
outcomes. The papers can examine the efforts of countries, subnational units,
cities, rural communities, or firms to adapt to climate change.  Papers that
thoughtfully analyze when and why adaptation “works” will be given priority.
Which of the world’s people, cities, property, and ecosystems are better
protected thanks to deliberate intervention, and what kinds of interventions
are proving most successful? These interventions could manifest through
different types of mechanisms including new governmental policies,
multi-stakeholder initiatives, and voluntary approaches. We encourage
interested participants to explore variations in adaptation approaches,
policies, or outcomes, either across units or over time within a given unit.
Papers based on case studies of specific countries or other geopolitical units
should critically analyze the relevance to other cases.

Importantly, we also welcome papers that examine the issues of maladaptation,
spillovers, and other unintended consequences of adaptation.  An intervention
to raise the river bank may create a moral hazard problem by encouraging
homeowners to build houses in the flood plain. Politicians might push through
an expensive infrastructure project under the guise of adaptation which does
very little to improve resilience or reduce vulnerability to climate change.
International donors might seek to join the adaptation bandwagon by committing
funds but reduce their appropriations for other types of development
activities. Thus, we need to carefully explore what policies are actually being
implemented under the guise of adaptation and the extent to which these serve
the intended goals.

Finally, in some cases, countries or other geopolitical units do not label
their efforts as “adaptation to climate change,” even if the intention and the
anticipated end result are similar.  Workshop papers could explore the politics
of framing:  why and how the adaptation agenda might be promoted under some
other label and how a different label might influence its implementation and
effectiveness in reducing vulnerability to climate change.



There is no conference fee. For one author per paper, conference organizers
will cover participants’ travel costs (air and ground, economy class only),
accommodation, and food expenses.

Participants should plan to arrive in South Bend by late afternoon on Friday,
April 28, 2017 and leave on the morning of Monday, May 1, 2017. Commitment to
attend the conference for its entire duration is essential.


                              Submission Process

Interested participants should email their proposal to as a
Word document with a cover page listing authors, affiliations, and contact
information; and a detailed abstract of 1,000 words that outlines the research
question, theory, data, and methods along with the contributions to the field
of climate change adaptation. We will consider work-in-progress only (papers
under review are acceptable). Please DO NOT submit published, forthcoming, or
accepted work.


                                    Time Line

1. Proposal submission: October 1, 2016
2. Notification of paper acceptance: November 1, 2016
3. Paper submission: April 1, 2017
4. Arrival in South Bend: the afternoon of Friday, April 28, 2017
5. Conference begins: evening of April 28, 2017
6. Organized panels: Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30, 2017
7. Departure: the morning of Monday, May 1, 2017


Aseem Prakash
Professor, Department of Political Science
Walker Family Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences
Founding Director, UW Center for Environmental Politics
39 Gowen Hall, Box 353530
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-3530

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