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Disasters. 2018 Jul;42(3):571-589. doi: 10.1111/disa.12257. Epub 2017 Oct 24.

Living with disasters: social capital for disaster governance.

Author information

1
Lecturer in Urban Geography at the School of Geoscience, University of Sydney, Australia.
2
Senior Lecturer at the School of Geography, University of Melbourne, Australia.
3
Associate Professor in Sustainability Advocacy at the Faculty of Arts, Business and Law, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, an Adjunct Professor at the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University, Canada, and an Adjunct Professor at the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development, Uppsala University, Sweden.
4
Scientia Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales, Australia.
5
Professor and the inaugural Director of the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, an Adjunct Professor at the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, Brock University, Canada, and an Adjunct Professor at the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development, Uppsala University, Sweden.
6
Disaster Management Team Leader at the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Australia, and a PhD Candidate at the Sustainability Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia.

Abstract

This paper explores how social networks and bonds within and across organisations shape disaster operations and strategies. Local government disaster training exercises serve as a window through which to view these relations, and 'social capital' is used as an analytic for making sense of the human relations at the core of disaster management operations. These elements help to expose and substantiate the often intangible relations that compose the culture that exists, and that is shaped by preparations for disasters. The study reveals how this social capital has been generated through personal interactions, which are shared among disaster managers across different organisations and across 'levels' within those organisations. Recognition of these 'group resources' has significant implications for disaster management in which conducive social relations have become paramount. The paper concludes that socio-cultural relations, as well as a people-centred approach to preparations, appear to be effective means of readying for, and ultimately responding to, disasters.

KEYWORDS:

Australia; Queensland; disaster governance; floods; local government; social capital; subsidiarity

PMID:
29064115
DOI:
10.1111/disa.12257
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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