Interviews were conducted with risk managers in a case-study area in England to determine the factors influencing the choice between more traditional, engineering based, adaptation to flood risk and those focussing on vulnerability reduction. The findings of in-depth analysis of these interviews have implications for climate change adaptation as a whole. They suggest that government policies to implement a broader range of adaptation measures might be hampered by institutional cultures formed when engineered approaches were the norm. Political decentralisation and the fashion for public consultation exacerbate this effect, leaving decision-makers more responsive to the influence of those directly affected by natural hazards than they are to policy pronouncements by government
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