Legal culture and climate change adaptation : an agenda for research

Hoddy, Eric and Halliday, Simon and Ensor, Jonathan and Wamsler, Christine and Boyd, Emily (2023) Legal culture and climate change adaptation : an agenda for research. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 14 (3). e825. ISSN 1757-7799 (

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While climate change adaptation research has increasingly focused on aspects of culture, a systematic treatment of the role of legal culture in how communities respond to climate risk has yet to be produced. This is despite the fact that law and legal authority are implicated in most, if not all, of the ways in which actors seek to reduce the risks posed to communities by climate change. Using a scoping review methodology, this article examines the intersection of climate change adaptation and legal culture in existing research. Overall, we find that the significance of legal culture for adaptation actions has been under-explored. Yet, it is also clear that a focus on legal culture holds significant promise for our understanding of climate change adaptation. We set out a research agenda for the field, highlighting the ways in which a focus on legal culture may enrich existing key themes within climate change adaptation research. This article is categorized under: Policy and Governance > Governing Climate Change in Communities, Cities, and Regions Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change > Institutions for Adaptation.