This paper complements “Value and Ethical Analysis in Vulnerability to Climate Change: Establishing an Analytic Framework for Identifying, Classifying and Evaluating Vulnerability Issues” (April, 2005). Much of theoretical background for what I am calling “values analysis” has been articulated in that paper. The task there was to develop a value analytic approach to stakeholder vulnerability. The task for this paper is to develop a value analytic approach to identifying and assessing institutional capacities to adapt to climate change in light of stakeholder vulnerabilities. It is written as a companion paper to the H. Diaz, A. Rojas, Richer and S. Jeannes paper, “Institutions and Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change” (2005) and the H. Diaz and A. Rojas, “Methodological Framework for the Assessment of Governance Institutions” (March 2006).
The open-ended and empirical approach for which the paper argues identifies two major sources of information regarding (formal) institutional values: 1) documentation (internal and external) such as mandates, mission statements and to some extent, policies; 2) practices of the institutions and their agents. It proceeds on the assumption that differences between stakeholder and institutional value analysis are marked by 1) more explicit and well defined value and ethical commitments for institutions, owing to the documentation and publically identifiable practices, 2) role differentiated responsibilities of institutional agents that limit what values they are free to exercise.
Evaluation of institutional adaptive capacity from the perspective of values analysis is to be based on: 1) an examination of consistency between an institution’s avowed or explicit value commitments and stakeholder value profiles; 2) an institution’s explicit value commitments and implicit (as reflected in its practices) value commitments. At a broader level, it is suggested that three arguably near universal normative principles can be invoked to provide a second-order values analysis: 1) the harm principle; 2) giving what is due; 3) principles revolving around the virtues of honesty/trustworthiness.