CORDIS - EU research results

Interdisciplinary Model for Understanding Climate Change Adaptation

Project description

How different social groups cope with climate change challenges

Climate change vulnerability has been regarded as uniform within societies, but this overlooks the serious social distortions and conflicts it produces. Prior research suggests that climate change impact is unevenly distributed, even within small social units. With the support of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the IMUCCA project is revolutionising our understanding of the social dimensions of climate change. Guided by the hypothesis that economic and social relations (class, gender, ethnicity, religion, and caste) play a pivotal role in climate change vulnerability, the project will create a rigorous, evidence-based model for understanding how different groups are affected by climate change, and how their adaptation strategies affect existing social divisions. IMUCCA focuses on rural India, one of the regions most profoundly affected by climate change.


Social scientists have generally treated climate change (CC) vulnerability as homogeneous across social space, underestimating the serious social distortions and conflicts it produces. Previous research conducted by the Fellow suggests that CC impact is unevenly distributed, even within small social units such as Indian villages, West African towns, or Fijian islands. This project is guided by a hypothesis derived from Fellow's earlier work: economic and social relations (class, gender, ethnicity, religion, caste) have an overwhelming impact on CC vulnerability and adaptation practices. Examining one of the regions where the impact of CC is most advanced – rural India – the project aims to generate detailed empirical data for tracing the connections between CC and existing forms of social stratification. Under the supervision of leading experts in agrarian studies, environment, and modelling, the project result will be turned into a generalisable model that can be used to understand and predict other agrarian societies’ experiences of CC, and their differential modes of adaptation. Drawing on economic sociology, socioecology and environmental economics, the project's empirical research will take place in two villages in Maharashtra, India, where agriculture is in the midst of an ongoing crisis caused by biophysical processes. The Fellow will employ mixed methods, using quantitative household surveys and semi-structured qualitative interviews, which will be collected during two research visits to India. The development of an evidence-based framework will make a pioneering contribution to our ability to address the differing ways in which different members of a society are impacted by, and respond to, CC. The project addresses core EU objectives, such as “preparedness for the impact of climate change to protect lives and assets,” so helping confirm the EU as leading developer of knowledge solutions for the most pressing problems of humanity.


Net EU contribution
€ 265 099,20
30123 Venezia

See on map

Nord-Est Veneto Venezia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Partners (1)