Learning From Analyses of Policy Frames and Informal Institutions in the Fire Management Sector of Victoria, Australia

  • Karyn BosomworthEmail author
  • John Handmer
  • Stephen Dovers
Part of the Environmental Hazards book series (ENHA)


If public policy sectors dealing with natural hazards are to play their part in climate change adaptation, the sectors must themselves be adaptive in their policies and larger governance contexts. Facilitating adaptive governance requires collaboration among many parties in the complex policy domain of natural hazard planning. To benefit from such collaborative processes as well as inquiries, reviews and experience, public sectors need to adopt a reflexive learning approach. Reflexive learning involves explicit consideration of current and alternate policy frames and informal institutions that structure a sector’s governance arrangements, policy options and practices. The case for reflexive learning in enabling an adaptive governance is supported by lessons from a range of literatures. Therefore, this chapter does not discuss lessons from a particular bushfire event. Rather, it argues that for lessons to be learnt from natural hazards and adaptation planning, public policy sectors need a capacity to reflect upon and possibly change the policy frames and informal institutions that structure their current approaches. The chapter will argue this by discussing a study of policy frames and informal institutions of the fire management sector in Victoria, Australia, with a particular focus on the perspectives of middle or ‘street level’ bureaucrats.


Reflexive learning Institutions Policy frames Public policy Fire management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karyn Bosomworth
    • 1
    Email author
  • John Handmer
    • 2
  • Stephen Dovers
    • 3
  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Australian National University (ANU)CanberraAustralia

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