Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 June 2021
This chapter presents an approach to assess the adaptive capacity of collaborative governance institutions. The approach links institutions and attributes believed to support societies in responding to social-ecological change. The application of such an approach to empirical studies demonstrates how adaptive capacity can be assessed and compared in a systematic fashion. It also sheds light on how different political, economic, and social factors enable or constrain adaptive capacity. By investigating the complex and interrelated nature of institutions and interdependence of adaptive capacity attributes, the chapter offers insights into the kinds of governance qualities that are conducive to adaptive capacity. Further, it underscores the role of contextual factors and power relations in shaping adaptive capacity and points out the need to consider such roles in future adaptive capacity assessments.