Institutional dependencies in climate adaptation of transport infrastructures: an Institutional Network Analysis approach

Batoul Mesdaghi, Amineh Ghorbani*, Mark de Bruijne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


Climate adaptation measures are shaped and implemented through processes of governance, where the interactions and decision-making among actors lead to the creation and reinforcement of institutions. Institutions in this respect are the rules that shape the interactions of actors in different phases of climate adaptation. Currently there is no comprehensive method to systematically identify and map dependencies between institutions. This study proposes the Institutional Network Analysis (INA) approach that is based on the Institutional Grammar as a systematic and comprehensive tool to (1) visualise institutional dependencies, (2) identify points of concern in the institutional landscape such as conflicts and voids, and (3) provide quantitative insights into the centrality of actors, embeddedness of institutional outcomes, and dependencies between institutions. The approach is applied to the case of climate adaptation of transport infrastructures surrounding the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The analysis reveals a conflict in the use of risk assessment criteria, as parties in the Port may follow their own matrices in the presence of a shared decision-making framework. Nonetheless, the network metric analysis reveals that the criteria, whether shared or individual, build on the same source of risk analysis, suggesting that this duality may not be detrimental for climate adaptation efforts. Additionally, an institutional void is identified for financial responsibilities in locations where infrastructures overlap. Finally, the network metrics show high dependency between institutions in the risk dialogue phase, and reveal the centrality of infrastructure owners ProRail and RWS in the institutional landscape instead of local or regional governmental bodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-136
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Science and Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Climate adaptation
  • Institutional conflict
  • Institutional grammar
  • Institutional network analysis
  • Institutional void
  • Transport infrastructures


Dive into the research topics of 'Institutional dependencies in climate adaptation of transport infrastructures: an Institutional Network Analysis approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this