Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Resource Economics

Habilitation of Dr. Jochen Hinkel

Human-environment interactions and climate change adaptation

Start: August 2010

End: December 2016

This habilitation project analyses how human-environment interactions (HEI) are conceptualised and theorized in climate change adaptation research. Two different analytical approaches are thereby contrasted. The impact/decision-analytical approach relies on models to project future impacts of climate change scenarios and, subsequently decision-analytical methods to identify adaptation options that perform best under given criteria. Adaptation is thereby conceptualised as individual action of a social planer. The second approach is the institution-analytical approach, which aims at understanding how institutions shape, and are shaped by, humans interacting with their environment. It relies on qualitative methods to analyses how shared environmental systems create interdependencies between actors and on how institutional arrangements prevent harm or exploit opportunities in face of these interdependencies. Adaptation is thereby conceptualised as collective action amongst multiple actors that interdependent via a shared environment impacted by climate change. HEI are not seen as interactions between the human and environmental subsystems as such, but between the various actors involved, with these interactions being mediated through the changing environment. Preliminary findings suggest that the impact/decision-analytical approach is suitable for exploring potential adaptation issues that climate change may bring, but generating an understanding of possible solutions requires, in many cases, institutional analysis.

Researcher: Dr. Jochen Hinkel

Cooperation Partner:

  • Global Climate Forum e.V. (GCF), Berlin

Advisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Konrad Hagedorn

Publications and Presentations: See