Governments throughout the world recently addressed adaptation as a second key strategy to tackle climate change. Integrating climate change adaptation according to the idea of Environmental Policy Integration (EPI) thereby attracted the attention of practitioners and academics. It is argued that the integration of climate change adaption policies faces similar challenges as the integration of environmental policy in the past. Basically, adaptation is also a cross-cutting issue challenged by the institutional fragmentation of policy-making. Accordingly, this task is challenged by different and sometimes conflicting sectoral policies as well as the relationships between and the roles of various actors at multiple levels.
The paper argues that policy integration – either environment or adaptation – must be understood as policy change. Following the approach developed by Adam and Kriesi (2007), the potential for such a policy change is determined by the power distribution and the type of interaction in the policy sector concerned. Firstly, a typology of potential for policy change is presented. Secondly, this typology is connected with three basic types of policy integration. Finally, the direction of integration is determined by the actor’s central position in the policy-process.
Methodologically, network approach developed by Serdült and Hirschi (2004) is applied. This actor-process-event approach (APES) links the participating actors with the different stages of the policy process. In a second step these data are analyzed with Social Network Analysis tools to assess the role, power, and authority of each actor. Empirically, the paper analyzes forestry in Switzerland which has undergone two revisions recently. Preliminary results suggest that policy integration – understood as a policy change – in the case of adaptation and environment depend on the power distribution and the type of interaction in a policy subsystem. Power and authority of the actors accountable for adaptation and environmental issues determine the degree of integration of climate change adaptation and EPI.
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