, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 440–451 | Cite as

‘Contractual’ and ‘cooperative’ civic engagement: The emergence and roles of ‘flood action groups’ in England and Wales

  • Linda H. Geaves
  • Edmund C. Penning-Rowsell


Devolution of responsibilities is transforming how flood risk is managed in many countries. Research assessing the emergence and role of a new element in the governance of flood risk management in England explored the numerous ‘flood action groups’ that have developed over the last decade. We identified two broad categories of relationship between the public and authorities. The first displays ‘contractual’ characteristics: a level of protection provided by the authority in exchange for taxes or similar support. The second embodies a ‘collaborative’ relationship: public knowledge, social and financial resources are equal and complementary to those of authority, and seeking ‘collective security’. In general, the former were more successful than the latter, but common lessons were that success in FRM should not be defined purely as the ability to prevent flooding, but as the ability to access a variety of resources across different levels of society at different stages of flood risk management.


Civic engagement Contractual Cooperation Floods, England and Wales 


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford University Centre for the EnvironmentOxfordUK

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