chapter  13
11 Pages

Assessment of Capability and Vulnerability

ByBen Wisner

The word ‘vulnerability’ is used in the English hazards and disaster management literature in a large number of ways. This is not necessarily a matter of ambiguity or semantic drift, but disciplinary focus. Essentially, these different uses have invisible, implied adjectives preceding them, hence:

• structural engineering vulnerability; • lifeline infrastructural vulnerability; • communications system vulnerability; • macro-economic vulnerability; • regional economic vulnerability; • commercial vulnerability (including insurance exposure); • social vulnerability.