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Addressing the resilience-community dynamic: climate change adaptation, natural disaster management and the need for policy resilience

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 11:15 authored by Akihiro Nakamura, Catherine CrowleyCatherine Crowley
Resilience is now a widely considered term in various fields of study, including engineering, ecology, social science, psychology and public policy (Adger 2000). Our focus here is upon clarifying the meaning of resilience in the applied fields of climate change adaptation policy (CCAP), and natural disaster management (NDM). We argue that the critical resilience-community dynamic is problematic and unclear, not least because of a lack of theoretical clarity with respect to the meaning of the term ‘resilience’ in social contexts, global-local contexts, and in the context of public policy and preparedness. This dynamic needs addressing with some urgency given climate adaptation challenges and the heightened occurrence of natural disasters around the world including bush fires, flooding and earthquakes in recent times (Petra and Kathleen 2010). We are interested not only in definitional clarity of the term resilience for society in general (Nelson R et al., 2007), but also what resilience means for public policy development and practice. This paper firstly considers interpretations of the ‘resilience’ concept and, following a review of relevant literature, defines resilience in the contexts of CCAP and NDM. It addresses a number of common policy issues in relation to CCAP and NDM that have emerged in the literature, and recommends an adaptation of the policy cycle and further development of policy resilience theory in order to move towards social and community resilience.


Publication title

Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment [IAIA]




School of Social Sciences


International Association for Impact Assessment

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Event title

36th Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment [IAIA]

Event Venue

Aichi-Nagoya, Japan

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Date of Event (End Date)


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Government and politics not elsewhere classified

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