chapter  8
22 Pages

The macrosystem in disaster resilience


The hazards policy landscape influences and contributes to resilience, but it only works if it is relevant and socially acceptable. It may seem to be a framework of safety across government, society and community, but it only contributes to the resilience of individuals and households if it has been translated into their lives and is accepted by people. Policy is driven by social values and governance. Values are extremely diverse; for example, materialistic, spiritual, religious, social control, independence vs individualism, self-sufficiency, dependency, social hierarchy and acceptance or rejection of science and technology. Internationally there is a pervasive influence of liberal, Western, technologically driven values, which emphasise and place responsibility on the individual as well as encouraging acceptance of technology and its solutions. This Western influence has driven the values of the United Nations and other international agencies. Governance is equally variable in terms of political and social systems, resources and finance, the capacity of states to govern and to provide services and leadership and their social acceptance and authority in times of crisis. Equally variable is social capital, which is not a standard set of societal characteristics. Social capital may exist with or without strong governance: Migdal’s (1988) weak state and strong society. Social capital is constructed by values, culture and resources.