Stability and flexibility in the emergence of adaptive water governance

Robin Kundis Craig, Ahjond S. Garmestani, Craig R. Allen, Craig Anthony Tony Arnold, Hannah Birgé, Daniel DeCaro, Hannah Gosnell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


One of the goals of adaptive governance is to increase management flexibility in the face of a changing social-ecological system. In contrast, one of the key functions of governance systems is to provide stability, predictability, and security for the people subject to that system. This chapter explores this adaptive governance paradox, focusing on the Klamath and Everglades case studies presented earlier in this volume-although the paradox arises in all of the case study river basins and indeed in most adaptive governance projects. It concludes that while the Everglades system has detrimentally privileged stability at the expense of flexibility and adaptability, the Klamath Basin system is showing signs that it may be able to appropriately balance stability and flexibility in its governance institutions to better address changing climatic, legal, and political realities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPractical Panarchy for Adaptive Water Governance
Subtitle of host publicationLinking Law to Social-Ecological Resilience
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319724720
ISBN (Print)9783319724706
StatePublished - Apr 18 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive governance
  • Balance
  • Due process
  • Equity
  • Fairness
  • Legitimacy
  • Nonequilibrium
  • Procedure
  • Resilience
  • Rule
  • Standard

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)


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