May 25, 2019

ISS – Vulnerability versus Resilience

The politics of language in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Roundtable organised by ISS; KUNO; IHSA

Thursday 21 March, 16.30 – 18.00

Aula B, ISS, Kortenaerkade 12 The Hague

The concept of vulnerability has been a key concept in studies of disasters and climate change. Vulnerability brings out the socially produced ways in which groups are rendered safe or unsafe in view of hazards. The concept has been a radical move in disaster studies as it took the natural out of natural disasters, and in focusing on issues like power and inequality as factors that turn the occurrence of a hazard into a disaster.

Today, the concept of vulnerability has partly been overtaken by resilience. Increasingly, people (even disadvantaged people) have begun to be considered as resilient, with the capacities to organise, resist, learn, change and adapt. Adaptation, has become the slogan and the proposed solution to the problem of adjusting human systems to actual or expected climatic stimuli.

The roundtable will discuss whether, and if so, how vulnerability still matters?  Does resilience indeed help to focus disaster response on communities? What happens to social inequalities and the role of the state’s duties to protect their citizens?

Featuring: Greg Bankoff, Kenneth Hewitt, Terry Cannon, Lisa Schipper, Luis Artur, Sarah Bradshaw and Ben Wisner

The round table will be concluded with drinks, offered by IHSA

More information about the speakers and the programme can be found here:

Please register by sending an email to:

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