Community Action and Disaster

Authored by: Zenaida Delica-Willison , JC Gaillard

The Routledge Handbook of Hazards and Disaster Risk Reduction

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415590655
eBook ISBN: 9780203844236
Adobe ISBN: 9781136918698


 Download Chapter



This chapter is about communities and their roles in disaster risk reduction and management. The concept of community is used in very different, sometimes loose and often contested ways (e.g. Walmsley 2006). The concept’s origin can be traced to the German sociological literature on Gemeinschaft in the late nineteenth century. Community then referred to a small aggregate of people, often located away from centres of power but sharing a common and continuous way of life, similar beliefs, close ties, trust and frequent interactions. In the twentieth century the concept spread to a large array of social sciences, which eventually had a tremendous influence on policy and practice in the areas of development studies and disaster risk reduction (DRR). Since the 1960s, development and disaster workers have often considered community-scale initiatives as an alternative or necessary complement to globalised top-down development and disaster management practices.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.