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Climate Shocks, ICT, and Policy Resilience in Different Political Systems Open Access

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This thesis examines how the number of veto points and level of information communication technology (ICT) in different political systems influences policy resilience to extreme weather events, or climate shocks. Using the framework of punctuated equilibria advanced by Baumgartner and Jones, and Risse’s theory of areas of limited statehood in policy fields, we seek to learn if climate shocks can serve as “focusing events” that alter or intensify the terms and direction of climate change policy. Meanwhile, we examine if the number of veto points in a state’s political system affects its consolidation of statehood within its environmental field, or ability to create and implement climate change-focused policies, and if ICT may help fill some of these gaps in governance capacity. We conclude that, while high levels of ICT is helpful in disaster response and recovery during and after a climate shock, it may actually serve as a barrier to policy resilience by reducing the “shock value” of the climate shock to serve as a focusing event. Likewise, we conclude that states with lower numbers of veto points are more policy responsive to climate shocks.

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