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Session Overview
RN08_08a_H: Vulnerability in Times of Socio-Economic Crisis: Recent Developments, Conceptual Issues and Innovative Approaches
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Daniel F. Lorenz, Freie Universität Berlin
Location: HB.3.18
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: B, Level: 3.

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Social resilience in European communities. The construction and testing of a participatory index

Andrea Volterrani1, Massimo Giannini2, Stephanie Havekost3, Markus Leimegger4, Aurelio Dugoni5

1University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy; 2University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy; 3Samaritan International, Germany; 4White Cross Bozen, Italy; 5Anpas, Italy

The paper presents the results of the participatory construction and testing of a social resilience index in four communities in three European countries (Italy, Germany and Latvia) involving citizens, nonprofit organizations and public institutions. The social resilience index is composed of three pillars: 1) social vulnerability, 2) social cohesion, 3) the management of the risk management process. For the measurement of social vulnerability and social cohesion we have been used indicators (Eurostat and EuSilk) with reference to the individual situation in the labor, social relations, health, home, family, education. For the risk management process we paid attention to the dimensions of the communication, coordination and stakeholder involvement, the involvement of the population, the training of citizens. The survey was carried out both through on-line questionnaires to stakeholders and citizens either through focus groups with stakeholders. The research results carried out by a joint partnership (University/voluntary organizations in Italy, Germany and Latvia) will highlight a) the relationship between vulnerability, social cohesion and resilience; b) the relationship between social cohesion and management of the risk management process; c) cultural differences in European countries in the approach to risk management process; d) the role of citizen involvement, training and prevention communication in social resilience.


Beccari B. (2016), A Comparative Analysis of Disaster Risk, Vulnerability and Resilience Composite Indicators, PLOS Currents Disasters. Mar 14, Edition 1

Volterrani A. (2016), How to Build Prevention for the Elderly and Disabled before Natural Disasters? The Added Social Value of Voluntary Organizations in Europe, Sociology & Anthropology, Vol. 4(2): 92-98

Resilience – a New Blueprint of Neoliberal Governementality?

Stefanie Graefe

Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany

The current ecological, economic and political crisis can be described as a crisis of capitalist growth ideology. Against this background, risk management is getting more and more important not only on a political level but as a necessary resource of everyday life. It is therefore not by chance that the concept of resilience is gaining more and more importance in policy discourses. At the same time, resilience is promoted as a hopeful and even emancipatory principle for accomplishing the transition to a post-growth society. For visions inspired by a critique of capitalism and growth, the concept of resilience has a certain appeal insofar as it does not aim at material enhancement but system preservation. As such, it seems to have a kind of built-in immunity to the exponential use of resources and the ideology of merit. In my conbtribution, this assumption is challenged against the background of current theoretical debates about post-democracy and resilience. Given its defining objective of flexible crisis response, the concept of resilience is analysed as a potentially de-politicizing paradigm that favours an alert life-style of permanent vigilance and readjustment of individual behaviour and therefore not only systematically fortifes new hegemonic forms of subjectivity but also contributes to the renewal of neoliberal governmentality.

Social Resilience as a Process based on Multiple Dynamics: Left Behind Family Members’ Strategies after Soma (Turkey) Industrial Disaster

Zeynep Beşpınar1, Fatma Umut Beşpınar2

1Marmara University, Turkey; 2Middle East Technical University, Turkey

This paper aims to rethink and question resilience paradigms in the case of deadliest industrial disaster in Turkey which happened in a mining field in Soma on May 13, 2014, with 301 dead and 90 injured causing political and social riots in this small Aegean city. One and half year after the disaster, we conducted in-depth interviews with members (wives, daughters and sons) from 25 families who were left behind to understand their strategies and practices. We asked family members’ life conditions and experiences before the disaster, the transformation of their life conditions and strategies after the disaster and their future prospects. Manyena’s (2006) contribution on the conceptualization of resilience by questioning resilience as an outcome or a process is significant for our study. As Kwok et al. (2016) argue, social, economic and institutional system and conditions are noteworthy to understand the dynamics of community disaster resilience. Socio-cultural setting, which regards women’s agency as a threat to the communal values and norms, limits family members’ capacity to deal with the difficulties. Social policies, which do not recognize the human role in disasters and taking the responsibility for action building, may endanger the resilience processes of individuals, families, communities and actions. Family members’ high level of socio-economic dependency on their father/husband, loss of resources and increase of social pressure to control their everyday life shape family members’ resilience processes by showing the significance of the multiplicity of factors such as self and collective efficacy, social support and trust.

The participation of Children & Young People in Disaster Management: a European view

Israel Rodríguez Giralt, Miriam Arenas Conejo, Daniel López Gómez

Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) - Open University of Catalonia, Spain

CUIDAR- Cultures of Disaster Resilience among children and young people is an ongoing EU-funded project (H2020) involving members from Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and the UK. We present here the first results: a scoping review of disaster policy, practice and projects for what they say, or do not say, about children and young people in the partner countries. That information has been complemented with interviews to key informants in each country, and with an additional review of academic and research based literature.

The scoping reveals that although there is a global concern about this issue, particularly under the influence of Sendai (2015) international framework, children and young people’s participation in disaster management is still an emergent field in Europe, if compared with other countries such Australia, New Zealand, Japan or the USA. In the five European countries analysed, there is no clear national risk-reduction strategy and despite practitioners and experts deem children and young people’s participation to be crucial, our scoping reveals several obstacles (in civil protection and in educational institutions frameworks and practices) for the implementation of children-centred approaches. In general, children and young people are seldom included in the management of disasters as they are mostly considered as a homogeneous and vulnerable group. But a few experiences found point out that they can also have an active role in disasters management: for example, as allies of civil protection (in prevention, preparedness and recovery tasks) or as co-researchers in finding innovative solutions in disaster risk reduction strategies.

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