This paper presents a novel framework for actor-oriented adaptation research that is being conducted within the Nordic Centre of Excellence for Strategic Adaptation Research (NORD-STAR). It frames climate adaptation as addressing both the impacts of climate change and the consequences of climate policy. Policy analysis are applied to three thematic issues: (i) land-use change; (ii) energy transitions; (iii) insurance and finance.
The paper highlights that adaptation has been studied separately from mitigation in sectors such as agriculture, forestry, nature conservation, urban planning, water management and energy supply, which contradicts the reality of many practitioners. It identifies five bottlenecks to the use of adaptation research in adaptation practice and policy. These bottlenecks have gone unnoticed because the traditional framing of adaptation does not adequately consider the notion of agency, often rendering stakeholder interactions ineffective. Knowledge and use of actor-oriented theory when analysing and discussing adaptation needs and options could serve to find ways to overcome the bottlenecks and narrow the gap between research and action.
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