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Keywords:

  • disaster risk reduction;
  • climate;
  • vulnerability;
  • capacity;
  • resilience;
  • development;
  • policy

Abstract

In the decades since the terms ‘vulnerability’, ‘capacity’ and ‘resilience’ became popular in both the disaster and development literatures, through natural and social science discourses, the terms have been applied to many development- and disaster-related policies and have been the subject of much debate and interpretation amongst various schools of thought. An illustrative review of the use of these terms is given followed by a critique of the main discourses, especially regarding the development and disaster policy advantages and disadvantages. Recommendations are given at different scales for closing some of the gaps identified, especially regarding the policy usefulness of certain theoretical approaches. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.