University Research’s Role in Reducing Disaster Risk

Authored by: Dorothea Hilhorst , Annelies Heijmans

The Routledge Handbook of Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415590655
eBook ISBN: 9780203844236
Adobe ISBN: 9781136918698


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This chapter is about the history and current trends and challenges in making academic research more relevant to the policy and practice of disaster risk reduction (DRR). Although it promotes a broad definition of DRR, this chapter will mainly focus on university research addressing disaster in the context of development. It presents different paradigms of viewing disaster as they have appeared historically, moving from hazard-centred approaches to vulnerability approaches and approaches that centre on the mutuality between disasters and social and ecological processes. The point is that these can still be recognised today in different approaches to disaster studies: technocratic, structural and comprehensive approaches. It could even be stated that all these different approaches are necessary and complementary.

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