Abstract. Political ecologists (PEs) have powerfully illuminated dynamics responsible for the uneven distribution of resources and risk in society. However, localized PE approaches have been criticized as insufficient for producing careful generalizations needed to affect policymaking. We offer an approach to critically explore factors that shape the distribution of climate adaptation interventions—and their potential equity and sustainability-related implications—across larger, policy-relevant scales. Our methodology uses local field-work findings to inform secondary data collection and specify mesoscale regression models, which reanalyze, at larger spatial scales, potentially meaningful relationships between social, economic, and environmental factors and the distribution of adaptation initiatives. An epistemological heuristic is offered to navigate the consistencies and inconsistencies between local qualitative and mesoscale quantitative data to develop a more comprehensive, yet partial, understanding of scaled political–ecological relations. The integrative approach is applied to analyze how sociospatial and biophysical characteristics affect the distribution of more than 16,000 farm ponds across 352 subdistricts in Maharashtra, an emerging adaptation subsidized by the state government to reduce crop risks from precipitation variability. The degree of compatibility between local qualitative and regional-scale quantitative results can support the development of novel research questions and actionable science for policy change.
(2021) Beyond Local Case Studies in Political Ecology: Spatializing Agricultural Water Infrastructure in Maharashtra Using a Critical, Multimethods, and Multiscalar Approach, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2021.1941746
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