Identification of Factors Prevent Sea Level Rise from Rising onto the Policy Agenda in the Government’s Policies

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Student in Public Administration, Kish International Campus, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Faculty of Management University of Tehran

3 Associate Professor, Faculty of Public Administration, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Fisheries, Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch


Sea level rise is one of the most dangerous outcomes of climate change, which poses a serious threat to the coastal areas of developed and developing countries. This study identifies the factors that prevent the sea level rise in being recognized as problems requiring policy agenda setting by using Kingdon’s multiple streams framework model. The mixed research method applied in this research and in terms of data collection, qualitative and exploratory research was carried out by using Delphi technique. The members of the Delphi panel presented 10 items and finally, in order of priority, 9 items received the highest importance factor. Research findings state that there are ambiguous perspectives on policy-making levels towards increasing sea level rise as a public problem, and there is no consensus on the need for attention to this issue.


1- فتحی، الهه (1395) ﭘﺮاﮐﻨﺪﮔﯽ ﻋﻤﻮدی ﺟﻤﻌﯿﺖ ایران در سال 1390، ماهنامه تحلیلی پژوهشی آمار، شماره 17، فروردین و اردیبهشت 1395، جلد 4، شماره 1، صفحه 24 – 26.
2- نامی، محمد حسن؛ عباسی سمنانی، علیرضا؛ صمدی، مهدی (1391) بررسی اثرات و نتایج گرم شدن کره زمین و بالا آمدن آب دریای مکران و خلیج فارس بر سواحل و جزایر جنوب کشور در 50 سال آینده، اولین همایش ملی توسعه سواحل مکران و اقتدار دریایی جمهوری اسلامی ایران، 28 لغایت 30 بهمن 1391، صفحه 1 – 7.
3- Agnone J, (2007), “Amplifying public opinion: The policy impact of the U.S. environmental movement” Social Forces 85. p.1593–1620.
4- Alexander, K. S., Ryan, A., & Measham, T. G. (2012). Managed retreat of coastal communities: Understanding responses to projected sea level rise. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 55(4), p. 409–433.
5- Amundsen H, Berglund F, Westskogô H, (2010), “Overcoming barriers to climate change adaptation – a question of multilevel governance?” Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 28. p. 276–289.
6- Baumgartner F R, Jones B D, (1993), Agendas and Instability in American Politics (University of Chicago Press, Chicago).
7- Biesbroek G R, Termeer C J A M, Kabat P, Klostermann J E M, (2009), “Institutional governance barriers for the development and implementation of climate adaptation strategies”, International Human Dimensions Programme (IHDP) Conference “Earth System Governance: People, Places, and the Planet”, Amsterdam, 2–4 December.
8- Binder B, (2011), “Impact of climate change on public health” Public Manager 40. p.32–36.
9- Birkland, Thomas A. 1998. ‘‘Focusing events, mobilization, and agenda setting.’’ Journal of Public Policy 18 (1) January, p.53–74.
10- Brodmerkel, A. (2018) Homeowner perceptions of North Carolina sea level rise policy. Department of Environment and Ecology University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
11- Brody S, Grover H, Lindquist E, Vedlitz A, (2010), “Examining climate change mitigation and adaptation behaviours among public sector organisations in the USA” Local Environment 15. p.591–603.
12- Cobb, Roger W., and Charles D. Elder. (1983). Participation in American Politics: The Dynamics of Agenda-Building. 2nd ed. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
13- Crabbé P, Robin M, (2006), “Institutional adaptation of water resource infrastructures to climate change in Eastern Ontario” Climatic Change 78. p.103–133.
14- Dalkey, N. and Helmer, O. (1963), “An experimental application of the Delphi method to the use of experts”,Management Science, Vol. 9 No. 3, p.458-67.
15- Dannevig H, Hovelsrud G K, Husabø I A, (2013), “Driving the agenda for climate change adaptation in Norwegian municipalities” Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 31. p.490–505.
16- Downs A, (1972), “Up and down with ecology—the ‘issue-attention cycle’” The Public Interest 28. p.38–50.
17- Goharnejad, H., Shamsai, A., Hosseini, S. A. (2013) Vulnerability assessment of southern coastal areas of Iran to sea level rise: evaluation of climate change impact, Oceanologia (55), p. 611-637.
18- Hilgartner, S. And Bosk, C., (1988). The rise and fall of social problems: a public arenas model. American Journal of Sociology, 94, p.53-78.
19- Hjerpe M, Storbjörk S, Alberth J, (2014), “There is nothing political in it”: triggers of local political leaders’ engagement in climate adaptation” Local Environment Epub ahead of print.
20- Houston, D. and L. Richardson. (2000). ‘The Politics of Air Bag Safety: A Competition among Problem Definitions’, Policy Studies Journal, 28, 3, p.485–501.
21- Howlett M, Ramesh M, Perl A, (2009), Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles & Policy Subsystems 3rd edition (Oxford University Press, Ontario, Canada).
22- Huidobro M, (2012), “Institutional deficit and lack of legitimacy: the challenges of climate change governance in Hong Kong” Environmental Politics 21. p.791–810.
23- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (2013), Climate Change 2013: The Pysical Science Basis (Cambridge University Press, New York, NY).
24- Kingdon J W, (1995), Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies (Addison Wesley Longman, New York, NY).
25- Kingdon, JohnW. (2003). Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies. New York: Longman.
26- Linstone, H.A., & Turoff, M. (Eds.). (1975). The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.
27- McGloughlin J S, Sweeney J, 2011, “Multi-level climate policies in Ireland” Irish Geography 44. p.137–150.
28- Moser S C, (2005), “Impact assessments and policy responses to sea-level rise in three US states: an exploration of human-dimension uncertainties” Global Environmental Change 15. p.353–369.
29- Ngorana, S. D., Xue, X. (2015), Addressing urban sprawl in Douala, Cameroon: Lessons from Xiamen integrated coastal management. Journal of Urban Management, 4, p.53–72.
30- Nicholls R J, Kebede A S, (2012), “Indirect impacts of coastal climate change and sea-level rise: the UK example” Climate Policy 12. p.28–S52.
31- Nisbet M C, Myers T, (2007), “The polls—trends: twenty years of public opinion about global warming” Public Opinion Quarterly 71. p.444–470.
32- Okoli, C. and Pawlowski, S.D. (2004), “The Delphi method as a research tool: an example, design considerations and applications”, Information & Management, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 15-29.
33- Orderu G I, Kelman I, (2011), “Norweigan mayoral awareness of and attitudes towards climate change” International Journak of Environmental Studies 68. p.667–686.
34- Pelissero, John P. (2003), ‘‘The political environment of cities in the twenty-first century.’’ In Cities, Politics, and Policy, edited by John P. Pelissero.Washington, D.C.: CQ Press.
35- Powell, C. (2003). The Delphi Techniqe Myths and Realities. Journal of Advanced Nursing.
36- Pralle S B, (2009), “Agenda-setting and climate change” Environmental Politics 18(5). p.781–799.
37- Rabe B G, (2010), “Introduction: the challenges of U.S. climate governance”, in Greenhouse Governance: Addressing Climate Change in America Ed. B G Rabe (Brookings Institution Press, Washington, DC) p.3–23.
38- RAND Corporation. (2012), Delphi Method. Retrieved from
39- Ridde, V. (2008). ‘Equity and Health Policy in Africa: Using Concept Mapping in Burkina Faso’, BMC Health Service Research, 8, 90, 22 April.
40- Rochefort, D.A. and Cobb, R.W., 1994. The politics of problem definition. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas.
41- Selman J, Daigle M, (2011), “Attracting strange bedfellows: climate users reshape the conversation” Public Manager 40. p.51–54.
42- Simon M V, Alm L R, (1995), “Policy windows and two-level games: explaining the passage of acid-rain legislation in the Clean Air Act of 1990” Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 13. p.459–478.
43- Solecki W D, Shelley F M, (1996), “Pollution, political agendas, and policy windows: environmental policy on the eve of Silent Spring” Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 14. p.451–468.
44- Stone, D., (1988), Policy paradox and political reason. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, and Company.
45- Tversky, A. and Kahneman, D. (1974), Judgment under uncertainty: heuristics and biases. Science, 185(4157), p.1124-1131.
46- Wang, G., Zhang, J., He, R., Liu, C., Ma, T., Bao, Z., Liu, Y., (2017), Runoff sensitivity to climate change for hydro-climatically different catchments in China. Stoch. Environ. Res. Risk Assess. 31, p.1011–1021.
47- Yusuf, J. E., Neill, K., Burton, S. J., Ash, I. K. and Mahar, K. (2016) The Sea Is Rising… But Not onto the Policy Agenda: A Multiple Streams Approach to Understanding Sea Level Rise Policies. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 34. P. 228-243.