This article discusses systems-based interdisciplinary research that seeks to understand interactions between natural and social dimensions of hazards. The discussion in this paper is motivated by two objectives. First, to present a novel methodology—Systems-Interactions Maps—for an integrated systems-based assessment of the linked social and natural causes, pathways, and consequences of climate related hazards, such as drought in the UK. Second, the article seeks to contribute to discussion of an under-explored topic: the actual process of developing and applying conceptual frameworks in interdisciplinary research groups, here for the purposes of mapping relationships between successive historical drought episodes. The findings based on data from the 1976 and 1995 droughts in the UK show that identified drivers, responses, and impacts can differ between natural and social science disciplines; that there is a degree of independence of social from natural dimensions of a hazard; and that the relative emphasis on social or natural drivers of a drought is shaped by the institutional and governance structure of the water sector.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited