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Mapping Vunerability: Disasters, Development and People

Edited By: Greg Bankoff, Georg Frerks and Dorothea Hilhorst

236 pages, Figs, tabs


Paperback | Dec 2003 | #142771 | ISBN: 1853839647
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NHBS Price: £26.99 $36/€31 approx
Hardback | Dec 2003 | #142774 | ISBN: 1853839639
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About this book

Critically examines "vulnerability" as a concept that is vital to the way we understand the impact and magnitude of disasters. Through the notion of vulnerability the authors stress the importance of social processes and human-environmental interactions as causal agents in the making of disasters. They critically examine what renders communities unsafe, a condition they argue depends primarily on the relative position of advantage or disadvantage that a particular group occupies within a society's social order.

Hazards are natural, disasters are not. Social processes generally result in unequal exposure to risk by making some people more disaster-prone than others. This book explores aspects of vulnerability as key to understanding risk and the human response to hazards. Critical to this understanding is an appreciation of how human systems place people at risk in relation to each other and the envronment--a relationship that can be best understood in terms of an individual, household, community, or societal vulnerability. These issues are examined through scholarly and case-study perspectives.--Natural Hazards Observer


Introduction - mapping vulnerability; theorizing vulnerability in a globalized world; the historical geography of disaster; the need for rethinking the concepts of vulnerability and risk from a holistic perspective; complexity and diversity; the lower Lempa River Valley, El Salvador; science, vulnerability and the search for equity; vulnerable regions versus vulnerable people; from vulnerability to empowerment; assessing progress in the analysis of social vulnerability and capacity to the impact of natural hazards; vulnerability reduction; macroeconomic concepts of vulnerability; gendering vulnerability analysis; the communities do science!; conclusion - vulnerability analysis as a means of strengthening policy formulation and policy practice.

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Greg Bankoff is Senior Lecturer at the School of Asian Studies, University of Auckland, and Research Fellow of Disaster Studies, Wageningen University. Georg Frerks is Professor of Disaster Studies and Dorothea Hilhorst is Lecturer of Disaster Studies, both at Wageningen University

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