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WIREs Clim Change
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Local knowledge in climate adaptation research: moving knowledge frameworks from extraction to co‐production

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This review consists of a systematic assessment of climate change adaptation literature to elicit major trends, discourses, and patterns in how local knowledge is conceived. We report on conceptual and geographic trends within the literature, including the practice of assessing local knowledge against scientific benchmarks, and present results of a textual network analysis that illustrates overlap and co‐occurrence among different characterizations of local knowledge. In critically assessing the dominant trends we draw special attention to problems associated with the extraction of local knowledge without due consideration of how this process is embedded and inextricable from local contexts and sociotechnical orders. Drawing on theories of science and technology that examine the ontological politics of research practices, we propose a co‐productive path forward for local knowledge mobilization to inform adaptation decision‐making, which we argue facilitates the transformation of the institutional and governance arrangement of climate adaptation to provide greater flexibility and experimentalism in research and decision‐making. WIREs Clim Change 2017, 8:e475. doi: 10.1002/wcc.475 This article is categorized under: Social Status of Climate Change Knowledge > Knowledge and Practice
The growth of ‘local knowledge’ in climate adaptation research. Note: Prior to the year 2010, only 10 articles were published in this area—the same number of articles published in the first quarter (January–March) of 2015 alone. Collection of bibliometric data for this review occurred in March 2015; thus, the ‘downward trend’ of the graph does not capture the full set papers published in 2015.
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How local knowledge is conceptualized by region and theme. Note: Bars display the frequency of themes coded by region, and include the proportional ‘mix’ of themes within each region.
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Local knowledge concept map.
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Contribution of theme over time. Note: Bars display the proportional composition of themes present in the papers published per year.
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