By Lincoln Bennett

At the end of 2019 I was encouraged to apply for an internship opportunity at Flinders University. Having taken a keen interest in environmental law and policy throughout my undergraduate degrees, I decided it would be in my best interests to apply.

The CASPR internship was an excellent opportunity to develop my research skills and experience working with those in the environmental sector. During my time at university I never considered exposing myself to the research industry, and I certainly did not believe I would ever assist in attempting to publish an academic paper.

The initial task I was given was to research whether there were correlations between path dependence and climate change policy making. Upon submitting my initial research, it was a pleasant surprise when my mentor, Dr Peter Tangney, suggested that we could take the research further and attempt to publish a paper.

My research report reviewed and summarised the key concept of ‘path dependence’ and looked towards the correlation between path dependence and climate change adaptation policy. This report will then assist in forming part of the research on which the paper will be based upon.

The purpose of the paper is to review path dependence and the impact it has had on governments attempting to implement good future policy for climate change adaptation. The paper will contribute to literature regarding public policy implementation by providing a framework for understanding the reliance of current public policy on past policy implementation and suggest methods to combat the issue of path dependence, with particular regard to climate change policy.

I thoroughly recommend anyone interested in economics or environmental policy to consider participating in the CASPR internship program. It has been a rewarding feature of my academic studies and gives students the opportunity to apply their research skills and knowledge acquired at university to a real-life scenario that can potentially both develop and further enhance research skills, as well as open opportunities for those interested in public policy.