Cross-departmental project

Vulnerability and Resilience from a Socio-Spatial Perspective

vulnerabilitaet
vulnerabilitaet

Even so the concepts of vulnerability and resilience – highly influenced by human ecology and environmental risk research – increasingly have been adapted to research areas in social sciences, desiderata still remain:

- Essentialist approaches persisted: Vulnerabilities were understood as objectively given susceptibilities, while resilience was understood as factual coping capabilities of social units.

- The observation that actors always experience “their” risks in a specific way was not considered.

- The question on how to conceptualise the linkage between objectively given (physical) risks and corresponding conceptions of risks was not answered.

- The spatial dimension was underexposed.

In the cross-departmental project, a theory-based concept was developed that addresses the desiderata. It is based on a social constructivist approach, actor-network theory and on relational theories on space.

 

Vulnerability = result of a social construction process in which societal actors assess threatened elements.

- An element perceived as threatened by the actors is defined (and thereby limited), set at the centre of an analysis as well as placed in the centre of a relational (spatial) network to other elements.

- Interdependencies between the central element and the other elements of the relational (spatial) network are observed in terms of their impairing effects for the central element.

 

Resilience = reaction and action of the actors within the relational network that has been conceived in specific perceptions of vulnerability.

- The intention is to implement more or less far reaching changes within the relational (spatial) web (i.e. by taking away, adding, or modifying elements), in order to reduce the vulnerability of the centrally placed element.

- Objects have agency in this process.

News
October/14/2016

Crises rarely occur in isolation from one another. Only by using this dictum one can grasp what can be witnessed today: a growing number of increasingly interconnected crises. Recurring financial and economic crises, municipalities and counties burdened by austerity measures, the effects of demographic and climate change, global migration flows, and increasingly polarised societies mean that cities and regions in particular face great challenges. more info

Publications

Christmann, G. B., Ibert, O., Kilper, H., Moss, T., Balger, K., Hüesker, F., ... Thurmann, T. (2011). Vulnerabilität und Resilienz in sozio-räumlicher Perspektive: Begriffliche Klärungen und theoretischer Rahmen. (Working Paper / Leibniz-Institut für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplanung; No. 44). Erkner: Leibniz-Institut für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplanung.
Christmann, G., Ibert, O., Kilper, H., Moss, T., Balgar, K., Hüesker, F., ... Thurmann, T. (2012). Vulnerability and Resilience from a Socio-Spatial Perspective: Towards a Theoretical Framework. (Working Paper / Leibniz-Institut für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplanung; No. 45). Erkner: Leibniz-Institut für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplanung.
Christmann, G., & Ibert, O. (2016). Eine sozialräumliche Perspektive auf Vulnerabilität und Resilienz: Sozialkonstruktivismus, Akteur-Netzwerk-Theorie und relationale Raumtheorie im Dialog. In R. Wink (Ed.), Multidisziplinäre Perspektiven der Resilienzforschung (pp. 233-262). (Studien zur Resilienzforschung). Wiesbaden: Springer.
Bürkner, H-J. (2010). Vulnerabilität und Resilienz: Forschungsstand und sozialwissenschaftliche Untersuchungsperspektiven. (Working Paper / Leibniz-Institut für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplanung; No. 43). Erkner: Leibniz-Institut für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplanung.
Bürk, T., Kühn, M., & Sommer, H. (2012). Stigmatisation of Cities: The Vulnerability of Local Identities. Raumforschung und Raumordnung, 70(4), 309-321.
Ibert, O., & Schmidt, S. (2014). Once You Are in You Might Need to Get Out: Adaptation and Adaptability in Volatile Labor Markets - the Case of Musical Actors. Social Sciences, 3(1), 1-23. DOI: 10.3390/socsci3010001
Christmann, G., & Ibert, O. (2012). Vulnerability and Resilience in a Socio-Spatial Perspective: A Social-Scientific Approach. Raumforschung und Raumordnung, 70(4), 259-272.