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Floods as Catalysts for Policy Change: Historical Lessons from England and Wales

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The tied relationship between flood disasters and the demand for a policy response is well known. What is not well known is how and why particular policy ideas emerge as policy change options. Drawing on the public policy theoretical literature, the paper evaluates the policy impact of four of the most significant flood disasters in England and Wales in the past 50 years. In so doing, it seeks to highlight which of the environmental, contextual and behavioural drivers have, in the past, been critical factors in the elevation of policy options to policy agendas. By monitoring changes in such drivers we can offer an understanding of the potential policy changes that may occur in response to flood disasters in the future.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Middlesex University, Flood Hazard Research Centre, Enfield, UK

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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