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Exploring pathways to transformations in post-disaster-event communities:  A case study on the Mad River Valley, Vermont, USA
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Climate change is already having a powerful effect on many areas through superstorms and flooding events. The flooding from tropical storm Irene in 2011 took Vermont by surprise, sparking momentum for change. While adaptive capacity as a response to climate change is vital, in many cases it may not be enough. This thesis developed an analytical framework for assessing transformative capacities from a linked social-ecological system perspective. By combining the literatures of transition management and resilience transformations, a cohesive framework emerged, with a scope incorporating multiple interacting scales and phases of transformation. 

The findings suggest a multiplicity of capacities are activated in a post-disaster setting, with networks, bridging organizations, and leaders as primary for restorative, adaptive, and transformative capacity activation, while innovation and obstacle negotiating as primary foci for informal networks and experimentation. Broadly, the framework when applied spatially (multi-scale) and temporally (multi-phase) was effective in uncovering dynamics of change processes. Additionally, a foundation of social, economic, and cultural aspects was shown to be influential in the development and mobilization of capacities, including community resilience, place attachment, and the long-term viability of the economic sector. This study makes a theoretical contribution by linking transitions and transformations literatures in a single framework, which can be tested in further studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 95 p.
Keyword [en]
Resilience, Transitions, Transition Management, Transformative Capacity, Transformations, Climate Change, Adaptive capacity, disaster recovery
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-110153OAI: diva2:769568
Available from: 2014-12-08 Created: 2014-12-08 Last updated: 2014-12-08Bibliographically approved

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