Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 496647
Title Exploring the plexus of context and consequences : An empirical test of a theory of disaster vulnerability
Author(s) Dückers, Michel; Frerks, Georg; Birkmann, Jörn
Source International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 13 (2015). - ISSN 2212-4209 - p. 85 - 95.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.04.002
Department(s) Sociology of Development and Change
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Keyword(s) Culture - Disaster vulnerability - Disasters - Quantitative research
Abstract

What determines the disaster vulnerability of countries? In this study a theoretical model was tested, linking disaster vulnerability to physical hazards and cultural and historical factors. Associations between the World Vulnerability Index and Hofstede's cultural dimensions scores were explored using quantitative methods, while taking exposure to natural hazards into account. Data of 60 countries could be matched. Less exposed countries in this sample are significantly less vulnerable. Culturally, particularly countries with a lower power balance and a higher level of individualism are less vulnerable as well; two features linked to higher levels of wealth. Approximately 70% of the variance in vulnerability could be explained in this way. These results should, however, be interpreted with some caution as longitudinal data were unavailable and disaster vulnerability itself may be seen as a cultural derivate, making it impossible to clarify causal mechanisms. Despite these and other limitations, the study points at interesting associations that, firstly, should be expanded and replicated in larger samples, allowing more advanced analysis, and secondly, encourage a more thorough examination of different local contexts and cross-level interactions than was possible in this exploratory endeavor.

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