Vulnerability to Natural Hazards

Subtitle:Philosophical Reflections on the Social and Cultural Dimensions of Natural Disaster Risk
Authors/others:Coeckelbergh, Mark (De Montfort University)
Abstract:Risk analysis and risk management are ways for humans to cope with natural disaster risk. This chapter connects discussions about risk with reflections on nature, technology, vulnerability, and modernity. In particular, it raises questions regarding the natural/human distinction and how human societies and cultures(should) cope with risk. How “natural” are hazards, given human interventions inand interpretations of events, and what are the limitations of “objective” modernapproaches to risk? The chapter argues that coping with risk related to naturaldisasters should be sensitive to the social and cultural dimensions of risk. For thispurpose it proposes the concept of “vulnerability transformations”. It focuses on the experience and phenomenology of natural hazards in relation to existential vulnerability, and, taking a cross-cultural perspective, shows that apart from modern scientific thinking there are also other, less modern ways to cope with natural hazards.
Number of pages:15
Date of publication:2016
Publication Type:Chapter
Host publication's title:Risk Analysis of Natural Hazards
Host publication's editors:Gardoni, PaoloMurphy, ColleenRowell, Arden