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Guy Jackson. Photo.

Guy Jackson

Postdoctoral Fellow

Guy Jackson. Photo.

Loss and damage : A review of the literature and directions for future research

Author

  • Karen E. McNamara
  • Guy Jackson

Summary, in English

Climate change researchers argue that a residual domain exists beyond the limits of adaptation to prevent deleterious climate change impacts: this has been labeled as “loss and damage.” Over the last 8 years, there has been significant growth in loss and damage scholarship thus making it imperative to take stock of what we know already and directions for future research. We undertook a quantitative review of academic publications (n = 122) in the loss and damage field to date and documented study characteristics, thematic areas, trends, gaps, and opportunities. The first publication appeared in 2010 before a significant increase in published research after 2013. Although increasingly diverse over time, loss and damage studies have primarily focused on technical, political, and normative questions. Our analysis suggests the following: that researchers predominately conceptualize loss and damage as “limits to adaptation”; that the literature is more practical (i.e., descriptive, does not challenge underlying presuppositions) than critical (i.e., challenges underlying presuppositions) in orientation; that loss and damage is conceived as both an occurring and future condition; and that economic dimensions of loss and damage are prioritized in studies. Recommended future research directions include empirical and theoretical explorations of the potential for transformational change; understanding what people value and how they can engage with loss and grief; ensuring the perspectives of the most vulnerable groups are included in decision-making; and greater policy-relevant research and critical analyses of loss and damage conceptualizations and the Warsaw International Mechanism. This article is categorized under: Climate, Nature, and Ethics > Comparative Environmental Values.

Publishing year

2019-03-01

Language

English

Publication/Series

Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change

Volume

10

Issue

2

Document type

Journal article review

Publisher

John Wiley and Sons

Topic

  • Climate Research
  • Political Science

Keywords

  • climate change
  • limits to adaptation
  • transformational change
  • vulnerability
  • Warsaw International Mechanism

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1757-7780