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Landslides

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Contextualizing community-based landslide risk reduction: an evolutionary perspective

  • Pavel Raška
Thematic Issue
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Abstract

Following the current emphasis given to community-based action in landslide disaster risk reduction (DRR) and with reference to traditional community-based approaches, recent studies have increasingly addressed regionally diverse experiences with community engagement in DRR. In this paper, we question the mechanisms of the community-based landslide DRR throughout history. To do this, we use the original historical landslide database for NW Czechia spanning from 1531 to the present day, including 230 landslide events. Five historical periods with different political regimes and socio-economic conditions are illustrated with significant landslide phases (1770, 1895–1900, 1925–1928, 1955–1960) and individual socio-economically relevant landslides (1994). For each period, the institutional and social conditions are described, the landslide phase is characterized (number of events, triggers, impacts, and recovery) along with analyses of individual case study events, and finally the institutional analyses of stakeholders dealing with landslide recovery and future prevention are provided. We conclude that various conceptualizations of community may be assigned to individual historical periods and that the inherited and newly established practices have been combined, creating hybrid models of community-based landslide DRR and affecting both its efficiency and effectiveness. Based on our findings we argue that (i) further attention should be paid to understanding the institutional, social, and technological context that is permissive of certain approaches to community engagement; (ii) approaches to community engagement must be constantly re-evaluated, given the dynamic nature of communities’ structure and functioning; and (iii) eventual use of the traditional or historical community-based approaches and practices must be critically evaluated with respect to conditions, in which these approaches and practices were developed and transformed. Finally, we emphasize that these challenges should be explored by interdisciplinary studies employing documentary data and addressing long-term path-dependencies of DRR in specific environmental and institutional settings.

Keywords

Landslides Risk reduction Community engagement Documentary data Czechia 

Notes

Funding information

This research was supported by the Czech Science Foundation [project no. GA16-02521S titled “Individual and organizational decision-making in environmental risk reduction: determinants, motivations and efficiency”].

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Department of GeographyJ. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad LabemÚstí nad LabemCzech Republic

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