E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Transforming Development and Disaster Risk"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Jonathan E. Ensor

Stockholm Environment Institute, Environment Department, University of York, United Kingdom
Interests: participatory; rights-based and 'bottom-up' development processes; climate change adaptation
Guest Editor
Dr. Frank Thomalla

Stockholm Environment Institute—Asia Centre, Bangkok, Thailand
Interests: vulnerability; resilience; disaster risk reduction

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on the complex relationships between development and disaster risk. Development and disaster risk are closely linked as the people and assets exposed to risk, as well as their vulnerability and capacity, are largely determined by developmental processes. Transformation is key to moving away from current development patterns that increase, create or unfairly distribute risks, to forms of development that are equitable and resilient. The search for transformative pathways is ongoing and may, for example, look to expose trade-offs in development policy, or prioritize equity and social justice for marginalized communities and groups in approaches to vulnerability reduction. Increasingly, transformative governance is seen as a vehicle through which these goals can be achieved, yet significant challenges remain if entrenched interests, unequal relations of power, and established ways of knowing and working are to be overturned. Articles submitted to this special issue should contribute case studies of and/or aim to enhance theoretical understanding of where and how transformations can occur in the development-disaster risk system; which types of transformations have the potential to significantly reduce disaster risk and contribute to sustainable development, and how they may be achieved in practice, at different scales. Ultimately, the insights from this Special Issue will deepen understanding of transformation, informing decision-making processes and exposing the actions that are required for a substantial and equitable reduction of disaster impacts.

* This special issue is dedicated to our friend and colleague, Nilufar (Neela) Matin, who died in 2017. Neela had worked for the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) at our York Centre since 1996. She was passionate about understanding poverty, natural resource management and sustainable development with a strong gender focus, and was a central figure in our work on Transforming Development and Disaster Risk. Neela was a truly multi-disciplinary researcher, whose talents extended from social science and political theory through to policy development and formulation. Neela was hugely experienced. Prior to joining SEI York Neela had worked extensively with a wide range of organizations, including governments, donor agencies, research institutions and NGOs.

Dr. Jonathan E. Ensor
Dr. Frank Thomalla
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sustainable development
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Transformation
  • Resilience
  • Trade-offs
  • Social justice

Published Papers (1 paper)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-1
Export citation of selected articles as:


Open AccessArticle Dark Side of Development: Modernity, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Livelihoods in Two Coastal Communities in Fiji
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2315; doi:10.3390/su9122315
Received: 11 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 11 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
PDF Full-text (2484 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
The world is changing rapidly, as are the remotest rural communities. Modernity is spreading across the world under the guise of development and it is transforming disaster risk. This raises issues concerning how disaster risk is changing in such milieus. Using a sustainable
[...] Read more.
The world is changing rapidly, as are the remotest rural communities. Modernity is spreading across the world under the guise of development and it is transforming disaster risk. This raises issues concerning how disaster risk is changing in such milieus. Using a sustainable livelihood approach, this article investigates access to different types of capital that central to the vulnerability of two coastal communities in Fiji that are affected by modernity to different extents. This comparative case study is based on semi-structured interviews, focus groups and observation. The results indicate that modernity transforms access to and use of key capitals (natural, physical, financial, human, and social capital) on both community and household levels, increasing dependence on external resources that are unequally distributed, while undermining social cohesion and support. Although disaster risk might be of a similar magnitude across the board at the community level, modernity transforms vulnerability significantly and skews the distribution of disaster risk, to the detriment of the households left behind by development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transforming Development and Disaster Risk)

Figure 1

Back to Top