- From flood safety to risk management
- The rise and demise of engineers in the Netherlands and the United States?
- Award date
- 10 February 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Floods can have disastrous consequences, not only in terms of economic damage, but lives are at stake as well. At the same time, areas at risk to flooding harbor fertile agricultural lands, are often strategically located for international shipping and commerce, and provide good conditions for industrial production. Many cities already emerged along rivers and coasts, and the expectation is that more people will be drawn to these areas in the future. Due to a combination of climate change and the continued urbanization of delta regions, the costs of flood incidents rose substantially over the last decades. Floods now rank on the top of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s list of most disastrous natural hazards.
These developments have challenged traditional “safety” approaches in flood governance, that aim to reduce the chance of flooding by building structural flood defenses such as levees. Instead, countries have turned to “spatial-planning” measures that aim to minimize the damage done by flood events by preventing further developments in flood-prone areas or by making these developments flood-proof. This turn to spatial-planning measures has important implications for how costs and responsibilities are divided in flood governance. This thesis examines the role of experts in shaping these distributive changes. Using a micro-perspective on institutional change, it traces back the role of experts in two empirical case studies: the Netherlands and the United States. It shows to what extent and how experts influenced the distribution of costs and responsibilities in Dutch and American flood governance.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo up to and including 10 February 2019)
Acknowledgements (Embargo up to and including 10 February 2019)
1. Introduction (Embargo up to and including 10 February 2019)
2. Research design (Embargo up to and including 10 February 2019)
3. The political genealogy of the Zuiderzee Works: The establishment of a safety discourse (Embargo up to and including 10 February 2019)
4. Engineering space: Integrated flood risk management in the Netherlands (Embargo up to and including 10 February 2019)
5. From levees to insurance: The spatial turn in US flood governance (Embargo up to and including 10 February 2019)
6. The evolution of US flood governance: Overcoming uncertainty and value conflict (Embargo up to and including 10 February 2019)
7. A comparative analysis of expert-influence in Dutch and US flood governance (Embargo up to and including 10 February 2019)
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