Cross-jurisdiction coordination of risk in fragmented governance settings

Authors: Matthew Hamilton*, Ohio State, Cody Evers, Portland State University, Max Nielsen-Pincus, Portland State University
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: wildfire, risks, network analysis, planning, resilience
Session Type: Virtual Paper
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The growing scale of natural hazards highlights the need for risk mitigation governance approaches to coordinate preventative actions and responses across administrative jurisdictions. However, cross-jurisdiction risk mitigation coordination presents a collective action problem, given the potential mismatch between its costs and benefits to individual policy actors and at-risk communities. We develop expectations about factors that shape transaction costs and the prospective payoffs of reducing risk for actors engaged in a fragmented and decentralized risk governance system. We test these expectations by estimating an exponential random graph model using a novel dataset that couples records of wildfire incidence with stakeholder participation in community wildfire protection planning processes in five western U.S. states during 2003-2019. This period coincides with increases in fire activity that spurred a range of policy responses, including calls to coordinate wildfire risk across fragmented jurisdictions and decision-making processes. Against this backdrop, we discuss how our results advance understanding of how changing hazard conditions prompt risk mitigation policy networks to reorganize, which in turn affects risk outcomes at multiple spatial scales.

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