Christopher Donaldson

University of East Anglia

PhD researcher

 

Thesis's Supervisor
Marisa Goulden.

My Thesis' Abstract
Our changing climate and its consequences on sea level and the atmosphere will raise the risk of flooding in many UK coastal zones and the communities that reside within them over the next century (UKCP, 2009). Governance arrangements designed to reduce the levels of flood risk to UK citizens are transforming in response to national policies of decentralisation. The shift of national government powers to the local-level expected may have implications on decision-making processes and the broader objectives of flood management (Thaler and Priest, 2014). Moreover these changes to flood risk governance structures may alter the flood risk social contract between the UK state and its citizens. How reforms will affect perceptions of the roles and responsibilities to mitigate flood risk between the state, citizens and new actors, particularly the private sector is little known.

This project examines legislative changes to flood management policy and their effects on the flood risk contract between the government, civil society and private sector. Methodologically it will explore actors perceptions of the roles and responsibilities to provide flood protection, and examine actors’ specific interests, objectives and capacities to influence the flood management process and implement future protection. The project adopts a case-study approach, examining how local flood governance bodies on the East coast of England, are adapting to legislative change and its implications on future planning, decision-making and implementation of flood alleviation schemes. The research will contribute to literature on current and future pathways of flood risk management in the UK, particularly its ability, to mitigate increasing flood and erosion risk fuelled by climate change, and to promote sustainable development. Furthermore it will explore the transformative potential of the governance changes, with an analysis of how governance structures in each context facilitate or constrain transformational adaptation.

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