Flooding is not generally regarded as being the kind of hazard that is symptomatic of a ‘Risk Society’ (Beck 1992), in which dangers arise as unintended by-products of technological modernisation and an unquestioning faith in the ability of science to solve social and environmental problems. However, this chapter explores policy change and the results of two research projects conducted with flood-exposed and affected communities, to argue that the recent shift towards the Flood Risk Management (FRM) approach, with its associated shift of responsibility towards the individual, is, indeed, an example of the risk society at work. In short, decades of support for structural solutions, combined with the increasing challenges of climate change, have allowed the expansion of communities into flood-prone areas, thus increasing the risks to individuals when these defences fail. The research results we present here illustrate how the government’s policy of ‘Making Space for Water’ (Department for Food and Rural Affairs 2005) is played out in practice, with consequences for how risk and resilience is experienced by the communities concerned. We conclude by arguing for citizens to be more involved in the decisions that are made around flood risk management and for better support for the process of flood recovery.
|Title of host publication||Innovative thinking in risk, crisis and disaster management|
|Place of Publication||Farnham, UK|
|Number of pages||277|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|