Daniel Henstra

University of Waterloo
Political Science

University of Waterloo
200 University Ave. W.
Waterloo, Ontario
N2L 3G1
dhenstra@uwaterloo.ca |  Visit Personal Website

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My research centers on public administration and public policy. With a focus on emergency management and climate change adaptation, I am interested in multilevel policy processes involving national, regional and local governments, and the complex, networked relationships among elected officials, public servants, stakeholders and the public.

Henstra, Daniel. 2015. "The Tools of Climate Adaptation Policy: Analysing Instruments and Instrument Selection." Climate Policy, in press.
Abstract: Governments have a key role to play in the process of climate adaptation, through the development and implementation of public policy. Governments have access to a diverse array of instruments that can be employed to adapt their operations and influence the behaviour of individuals, organizations, and other governments. However, the choice of policy instrument is political, because it affects the distribution of benefits and costs, and entrenches institutional procedures and resources that are difficult to redeploy. This article identifies four key governing resources that governments employ in the service of adaptation and analyses these resources using criteria drawn from the policy studies literature. For each category, specific policy instruments are described, and examples are provided to illustrate how they have been used in particular jurisdictions. The article also discusses instrument selection, focusing on trade-offs among the instrument attributes, processes for setting the stage for instrument choice, jurisdictional constraints on instrument selection, and ways to avoid negative vertical and horizontal policy interplay.
URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14693062.2015.1015946#.VRAAdY5mpvk
DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2015.1015946
Vogel, Brennan and Daniel Henstra. 2015. "Studying Local Climate Adaptation: A Heuristic Research Framework for Comparative Policy Analysis." Global Environmental Change 31: 110-120.
Abstract: Climate change poses a significant risk for communities, and local governments around the world have begun responding by developing climate adaptation policies. Scholarship on local adaptation policy has proliferated in recent years, but insufficient attention has been paid to operationalization of the unit of analysis, and methods employed are typically inadequate to draw inferences about variation across cases. This article seeks to contribute to the conceptual and methodological foundations of a research agenda for comparative analysis of local adaptation policies and policy-making. Synthesizing insights from policy studies literature and existing adaptation research, the article identifies and operationalizes two aspects of public policy—policy content and policy process—which are salient objects of comparative analysis that typically vary from one community to another. The article also addresses research design, outlining a comparative case study methodology that incorporates various qualitative analytical techniques as the vehicle to examine these policy elements in empirical settings.
URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378015000035
DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.01.001
Henstra, Daniel. 2012. "Toward the Climate-Resilient City: Extreme Weather and Urban Climate Adaptation Policies in Two Canadian Provinces." Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis 14(2): 175-194.
Abstract: Extreme weather events, such as unusually high or low temperatures, severe winds and heavy precipitation, pose a threat to people and property in cities, and are expected to become more frequent and intense as a result of climate change. Managing this risk requires effective climate adaptation policies strategic courses of action designed to strengthen urban resilience to climate related stress. City governments have a key role to play in adaptation policy design, but they appear to face challenges in marshalling political commitment and technical capacity. This article examines elements of urban climate adaptation policy targeting extreme weather and analyzes the policy development process in two major Canadian cities, Toronto and Halifax.
URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13876988.2012.665215
DOI: 10.1080/13876988.2012.665215
Henstra, Daniel. 2011. "The Dynamics of Policy Change: A Longitudinal Analysis of Emergency Management in Ontario, 1950–2010." Journal of Policy History 23(3): 399-428.
Abstract: Although cross-sectional studies offer valuable insights about the determinants of specific policy choices, it is now widely accepted that a richer understanding of policy cycles in any particular domain demands analysis of a decade or more. Scholars have increasingly turned their attention to historical patterns of policy development, seeking to explain the dynamics of policy stability and change over time. The predominant depiction of policy development that emerges from this literature is a stepped, evolutionary pattern characterized by relatively long periods of policy stability, punctuated by moments of significant change. However, recent studies suggest that the historical pattern of policy change may vary depending on the characteristics of the policy domain under examination and the nature of the policy subsystem that surrounds it.
URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=8334119
DOI: 10.1017/S0898030611000169
Henstra, Daniel. 2010. "Evaluating Local Government Emergency Management Programs: What Framework Should Public Managers Adopt?," Public Administration Review 70(2): 236-246.
Abstract: Local governments play a key role in emergency management by developing the necessary policies and concrete procedures for responding eff ectively to community emergencies and their aftermath. However, because emergency measures in most jurisdictions are rarely, if ever, activated, public managers fi nd it diffi cult to evaluate and assess the quality of existing emergency management programs. Drawing on expert literature to identify 30 elements of a high-quality local emergency management program, key elements are refi ned and synthesized into a single framework that provides clearcut best practices for emergency program evaluation and performance measurement.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1540-6210.2010.02130.x/abstract
DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2010.02130.x
Henstra, Daniel. 2010. "Explaining Local Policy Choices: A Multiple Streams Analysis of Municipal Emergency Management." Canadian Public Administration 53(2): 241-258.
Abstract: Canadian municipal governments are expected to play a central role in emergency management, which involves developing policies and programs to cope with emergencies and their impacts. But although all communities face potential emergencies, the quality of municipal emergency planning varies considerably from one community to another. This suggests that some municipal decision-makers have recognized emergencies as a problem and have prioritized this issue relative to others competing for attention and resources. This article examines policy-making in municipal emergency management through the lens of the Multiple Streams framework, an analytical model that explains how problems are recognized, how and why they are added to the decision agenda, and how they are matched with policy solutions.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1754-7121.2010.00128.x/abstract
DOI: 10.1111/j.1754-7121.2010.00128.x

Substantive Focus:
Environmental Policy
Governance SECONDARY
Comparative Public Policy
Urban Public Policy PRIMARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy History
Policy Process Theory
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY
Policy Analysis and Evaluation SECONDARY