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Linking social capacities and risk communication in Europe: a gap between theory and practice?

Hoppner, Corina and Whittle, Rebecca and Brundl, Michael and Buchecker, Matthias (2012) Linking social capacities and risk communication in Europe: a gap between theory and practice? Natural Hazards, 64 (2). pp. 1753-1778. ISSN 0921-030X

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Abstract

Although both improved risk communication and the building of social capacities have been advocated as vital ways to increase societies’ resilience towards natural hazards across the world, the literature has rarely examined the ways in which these two concepts may integrate in theory and practice. This paper is an attempt to address this gap in a European context. It begins with a conceptual discussion that unites the literature on risk communication with the literature on social capacity building. We then use the insights from this discussion as a basis to conduct a review of 60 risk communication practices from across Europe. This review indicates a gap between theory and practice because, whilst the literature highlights the importance of integrated and coordinated communication campaigns featuring both a one-way transfer and a two-way dialogue between the public, stakeholders and decision-makers, the majority of the communication practices reviewed here appear to be relatively disparate initiatives that rely on one-way forms of communication. On the basis of these findings, we conclude by making some recommendations for the way in which such practices could be improved in order to be more supportive of social capacities across Europe.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Natural Hazards
Uncontrolled Keywords: Risk communication ; Capacity building ; Participation ; Warning ; Prevention
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 59768
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 01 Nov 2012 16:12
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2012 16:12
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/59768

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