Vulnerability, Resilience and Exposure: Methodological Aspects

  • Marco ModicaEmail author
  • Aura Reggiani
  • Peter Nijkamp
Part of the Advances in Spatial Science book series (ADVSPATIAL)


The economic recession which followed the 2008 financial crisis has raised important issues on differences in the impact, especially from a spatial perspective, of the socio-economic shocks—at both the regional and the community level, especially in the European Union Member States. These differences may be due to the different levels of vulnerability, resilience and exposure, and may arise because of dissimilarities in the intrinsic characteristics of regions or communities (e.g. the pre-crisis economic characteristics of regions, ageing, household income, and so on). While, in the scientific literature, a great deal of attention has been paid to the concept of resilience (e.g. the capacity to bounce back or to resist a given shock) and vulnerability (e.g. the inherent characteristics that create the potential for harm), less attention has been paid to the full set of measures of socio-economic exposure (e.g. the things affected by a shock), as well as to both the relationship between vulnerability, resilience and exposure and the losses which ensue as a result of different external shocks and exposure.

The objective of this chapter is the exploration of the above-mentioned links, since a closer analysis of these complex interrelations might produce different outcomes. This study aims to review systematically the existing literature on vulnerability, resilience and exposure, in order to understand the connections between these concepts, with reference not only to economic shocks but also to other catastrophic events, such as natural disasters, man-made disasters, and so on.



The authors wish to thank two anonymous referees, as well as the editors, for the valuable comments.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI)L’AquilaItaly
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Tinbergen InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Adam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznańPoland

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