The Politics of Climate Change Adaptation

Project goal:

To provide a theoretically relevant framework for understanding the synergies between development and climate change interventions. This framework will be based on empirical evidence from two cases: farmers in Nepal and pastoralists in Mongolia.


Herding horses, Mongolia

Herding horses, Mongolia

Andrei Marin


The project represents an interdisciplinary social science analysis of the mechanisms by which development policies and interventions influence people’s ability to adapt sustainably to climate change.

Research Objectives

This is been addressed through three research objectives:

1. Illustrate how climate change adaptation is included in development policies and  processes, and how this in turn affects vulnerability patterns, and adaptation options

2. Develop a framework for understanding the mechanisms by which political interests related to adaptation influence the potential and constraints for sustainable adaptation.

3. Identify options for how the needs of the poor can more effectively be integrated in adaptation policy processes in order to support development efforts by Norwegian aid as well as Nepalese and Mongolian authorities.

Research Questions

In order to achieve these objectives, the project investigated in a comparative perspective Nepalese farmers and Mongolian pastoralists, by focusing on three research questions:

1. Do aid and climate change interventions affect

dependency relations and exacerbate vulnerability?

2. Are people’s resource rights, local level adaptation strategies, and local power relations affected by policy prioritization regarding development and climate change?

3.  Do particular livelihood, value, and cultural systems  get represented in  adaptation and development plans and policies?

Project partners and collaborators

Our partners in the south are

  • SIAS (Southasia Institute of Advanced Studies), Nepal
  • ICIMOD (international Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) in Nepal
  • The Mongolian National Academy of Sciences.


The project is now in the concluding stage and a conference to present findings and discuss the implications with policy makers and practitioners will take place October 20 and 21, 2014.

Published 18. September 2014 - 13:54 - Updated 1. December 2016 - 11:46