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Native American tribal governments, cross-sectoral climate policy, and the role of intertribal networks

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Abstract

Complex policy problems such as climate change that spill over multiple issue areas or jurisdictions often require new policy approaches because sectoral (or territorial) policies are not designed to tackle the issue of policy spillovers. Yet, cross-sectoral policies upset the status quo and invite a political backlash from departments and individuals who fear erosion of their power, authority, budgets, or status. We offer one of the first studies to systematically examine conditions under which tribal governments develop cross-sectoral climate plans. Drawing on an original dataset of 239 tribes, our statistical analysis shows that tribal governments embedded in cross-tribal networks are more likely to develop cross-sectoral climate plans. While developing such policies is costly, the availability of monetary resources does not change tribes’ odds of developing cross-sectoral climate plans. Thus, the role of embeddedness in networks, as opposed to financial capacity, motivates tribes to adopt new policy approaches that are risky and yet more suitable to solve a problem with cross-sectoral spillovers.

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... Of these studies, only 5% were systematic literature reviews (n = 10) (e.g., Shaffril et al. 2020). Examples of specific methods include the review of secondary data ( (Renwick et al. 2014), and statistical analysis of tribal government websites (Evans et al. 2020). Qualitative methodologies were 2.12 times more likely to partially or fully incorporate Indigenous governance concepts than quantitative or mixed methods (p < 0.05). ...
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... Casino revenues are proprietary information and not available publicly, but other indicators on the of scale of casino operations are accessible. Evans et al. (2020) compiled the square footage of all tribally-owned casinos, available from the National Indian Gaming Association at http://indiangaming.com/ home/ and we include their compilation in this paper with their permission. For the average observation, tribal casinos covered 66,891 square feet. ...
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