Raging floods, massive storms and cataclysmic earthquakes: every year up to 340 million people are affected by these and other disasters, which cause loss of life and damage to personal property, agriculture, and infrastructure. So what can be done? The key to understanding the causes of disasters and mitigating their impacts is the concept of 'vulnerability'. Mapping Vulnerability analyses 'vulnerability' as a concept central to the way we understand disasters and their magnitude and impact. Written and edited by a distinguished group of disaster scholars and practitioners, this book is a counterbalance to those technocratic approaches that limit themselves to simply looking at disasters as natural phenomena. 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, that depends primarily on the relative position of advantage or disadvantage that a particular group occupies within a society's social order. The book also looks at vulnerability in terms of its relationship to development and its impact on policy and people's lives, through consideration of selected case studies drawn from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Mapping Vulnerability is essential reading for academics, students, policymakers and practitioners in disaster studies, geography, development studies, economics, environmental studies and sociology.

chapter |9 pages

Introduction: Mapping Vulnerability

ByDorothea Hilhorst, Greg Bankoff

chapter 4|15 pages

Complexity and Diversity: Unlocking Social Domains of Disaster Response

ByDorothea Hilhorst

chapter 5|16 pages

The Lower Lempa River Valley, El Salvador: Risk Reduction and Development Project

ByDevelopment Project Allan Lavell

chapter 6|16 pages

El Niño Events, Forecasts and Decision-making

ByRoger S Pulwarty, Kenneth Broad, Timothy Finan

chapter 8|13 pages

From Vulnerability to Empowerment

ByAnnelies Heijmans

chapter 9|17 pages

Progress in Analysis of Social Vulnerability and Capacity

ByIan Davis

chapter 10|14 pages

Vulnerability Reduction: A Task for the Vulnerable People Themselves

ByZenaida Delica-Willison, Robin Willison

chapter 11|15 pages

Macro-economic Concepts of Vulnerability: Dynamics, Complexity and Public Policy

ByPublic Policy Charlotte Benson

chapter 12|9 pages

Gendering Vulnerability Analysis: Towards a More Nuanced Approach

ByMaureen Fordham

chapter 13|11 pages

Assessment of Capability and Vulnerability

ByBen Wisner