Publication
Title
Resilient societies, vulnerable people: coping with North Sea Floods before 1800
Author
Abstract
On Christmas Day 1717 the North Sea area was hit by the most deadly flood disaster in its entire history, which took the life of more than 10,000 people. Present-day concerns over climate change and the recurrence of extreme weather conditions might tempt historians to discuss floods like 1717 in terms of the overall vulnerability and resilience of societies or socio-environmental systems. However, in medieval and early modern Europe it is hard to find examples of societies which did not prove resilient in the face of flooding: through absorption or adaptation, coastal society as a whole was perfectly able to overcome periodic episodes of flooding even when such episodes were sometimes perceived as real catastrophes. At the same time, however, coastal societies differed greatly in the number of people exposed to harm and suffering. Processes of political and economic marginalization, as well as unsustainable forms of land-use, turned some people into victims of flood disasters, while others escaped. Hence only by moving discussions of vulnerability and resilience from the level of societies to the level of people, can a better understanding of natural hazards and disasters in the past and at present be achieved.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Past and present : a journal of historical studies / Past and Present Society [Oxford] - Oxford, 1952, currens
Publication
Oxford : Past and Present Society, 2018
ISSN
0031-2746 [print]
1477-464X [online]
Volume/pages
241(2018), p. 143-177
ISI
000456704700005
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 10.07.2018
Last edited 15.07.2021
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