Innovation in coastal risk management: an exploratory analysis of risk governance issues at eight THESEUS study sites

Penning-Rowsell, Edmund C. ORCID logoORCID:, De Vries, Wout S., Parker, Dennis J., Zanuttigh, Barbara, Simmonds, David, Trifonova, Ekaterina, Hissel, François, Monbaliu, Jaak, Lendzion, Jacek, Ohle, Nino, Diaz, Pedro and Bouma, Tjeerd (2014) Innovation in coastal risk management: an exploratory analysis of risk governance issues at eight THESEUS study sites. Coastal Engineering, 87 . pp. 210-217. ISSN 0378-3839 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2013.12.005)


The nature of coastal risk management is changing, away from an engineering-dominated approach seeking to defend against the sea, to one where risks are managed using a portfolio of measures usually incorporating an acceptance of a finite standards of protection. Inherent in the modern approach is the use of new techniques and approaches, and the process of innovation is important to their adoption across Europe. This paper is based on the hypothesis that governance issues can constrain that process of innovation or enhance it, and that the focus of these governance issues concerns institutional arrangements, legal capabilities, funding regimes and stakeholder engagement. Over a period of three years, two questionnaire surveys have been undertaken of the ‘Stakeholders’ and the ‘Site Champions’ involved in THESEUS research sites, including in-depth interviews, seeking information on these matters across the wide range of circumstances in these different geographical locations. Our tentative conclusion is that technical issues concerned with risk assessment and risk reduction choices are not central to the process of innovation with regard to the practice of risk management, but that institutional culture, traditions and capabilities are of greater significance. This resonates with the literature on governance and innovation,which stresses the importance of the social context in which governance arrangements can be improved and in which innovation flourishes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available online 25 January 2014
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Flood Hazard Research Centre
Item ID: 16202
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Josie Joyce
Date Deposited: 22 May 2015 09:13
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:34

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