[UCP Books]: Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery

“Why do some communities recover more quickly and fully than others? Using a comparative, interdisciplinary approach and elegantly crafted research, Daniel P. Aldrich shows that social capital is the dominant force driving post-disaster recovery. Building Resilience is social science at its best, with rich implications that will prompt a paradigm shift in disaster planning.”
Arjen Boin, Utrecht University School of Governance
“Daniel P. Aldrich has drawn the lens back from the single event to reveal patterns of resilience—and roadblocks to recovery—in four different post-disaster contexts. Building Resilience offers a novel and compelling look at the darker side of social capital as it relates to post-disaster recovery.”
Emily Chamlee-Wright, Beloit College

Building Resilience
Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery

Daniel P. Aldrich

Publication Date: September 15, 2012 Paper $27.50 • £18.00 • ISBN-13: 978-0-226-01288-9
UK Publication Date: October 8, 2012 Cloth $80.00 • £51.50 • ISBN-13: 978-0-226-01287-2


Each year, natural disasters threaten the strength and stability of communities worldwide. Yet responses to the challenges of recovery vary greatly and in ways that aren’t always explained by the magnitude of the catastrophe or the amount of aid provided by national governments or the international community. The difference between resilience and disrepair, Daniel P. Aldrich shows, lies in the depth of communities’ social capital.

Building Resilience highlights the critical role of social capital in the ability of a community to withstand disaster and rebuild the infrastructure and ties that are at the foundation of any community. Aldrich examines the post-disaster responses of four distinct communities—Tokyo following the 1923 earthquake, Kobe after the 1995 earthquake, Tamil Nadu after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and New Orleans post-Katrina—and finds that those with robust social networks were better able to coordinate recovery. In addition to quickly disseminating information and assistance, communities with an abundance of social capital were able to minimize the migration of people and resources out of the area.

With governments increasingly overstretched and natural disasters likely to increase in frequency and intensity, an understanding of what contributes to efficient reconstruction is more important than ever. Building Resilience underscores a critical component of an effective response.
Daniel P. Aldrich is associate professor of political science at Purdue University.

Please contact Melinda Kennedy at mkennedy1@press.uchicago.edu or (773) 702-2945 for more information.




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