Special Issue "Constructing Resilience, Negotiating Vulnerability"
A special issue of Social Sciences (ISSN 2076-0760).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2013).
Interests: dynamics of communication; knowledge and (socio-)spatial development; social networks; social innovation; climate change issues
Interests: economic geography; network research; knowledge production; social media; cultural and creative industries
Interests: knowledge practices in communities and networks; user-induced innovation; temporary organizations; labor market vulnerability and resilience; regional and urban governance
Interests: spatial governance; cultural landscapes; vulnerability and resilience; and federalism in the German Federal Republic
During the last decades, perceptions of the future have become more and more alarmistic. The world, it seems, lives in a permanent state of emergency. Societal discourses about future prospects increasingly turned from valuing indeterminacy as an opportunity to perceiving uncertainty as a threat. Such discomforting sentiments are corroborated by the accounts on natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy or socio-technical misjudgements as unveiled by the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima. Somewhere between resignation and the belief to control risks a ‘new language of preparedness’ (Ash Amin) is emerging.
The aim of the special issue is to scrutinize the analytical potential of vulnerability and resilience as keywords in this new language of preparedness and to explore processes of socio-technical construction of resilience across manifold empirical fields. In generic terms, vulnerability involves the processes of negotiating the value of entities that are potentially threatened by hazards. These threats can unfold gradually (‘slow burn’) or abruptly (‘shocks’), they are possibly irreversible, and also might constrain vital functions of the respective entities. The notion resilience addresses the ability of a threatened entity to survive possible harms. Resilience can either be achieved by the entity’s robustness to ‘bounce back’ into its former shape or by its flexibility to change its internal structures and by cultivating a robust state of adaptability.
While initially mainly used for the analysis of natural disasters, the notions vulnerability and resilience are increasingly employed to conceptualize societal challenges, organizational change as well as economic or regional crises. However, these debates have remained quite disconnected until today. The special issue aims at offering a cross-disciplinary ‘trading zone’ about the notions’ social scientific analytical potentials and socio-spatial implications. Authors from various disciplines ranging from geography and sociology to economy, political science and planning are invited to submit papers that address one or several of the following interrelated issues:
- Vulnerability and Resilience as Cognitive Constructs: Perceptions
- Resilience as Dynamic and Systemic Construct: Adaptability
- Resilience as Political Construct: Governance
Dr. Gabriela Christmann
Prof. Dr. Gernot Grabher
Prof. Dr. Oliver Ibert
Prof. Dr. Heiderose Kilper
Manuscript Submission Information
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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 double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Social Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
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- risk perception
- bouncing back
- high-reliability organizations