Lesnikowski, A., Biesbroek, R., Ford, J.D., and Berrang-Ford, L. 2020. Policy implementation styles and local governments: the case of climate change adaptation. Environmental Politics, article online.
Adaptation to impacts of climate change is a key pillar of climate change policy, and local governments have historically played a major role in the design and implementation of these policies. An array of political, economic, institutional, social, and individual factors influence adaptation policy instrument choice. At the local government level, these choices also reflect inter-governmental dynamics that can constrain or support local efforts. We analyze eight hypothesized drivers of local adaptation policy instrument choice using fractional regression analysis and multilevel modelling. Local governments are pursuing diverse adaptation policy implementation styles that are associated with different levels of internal capacity, local political economies and problem perception. Dependence on national governments, the presence or absence of national adaptation mandates, national decision-making traditions, and national adaptation policy approaches may also influence local policy instrument choices.