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Contemporary Perspectives from Italy
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From earthquakes to oil spills, Italy is recurrently affected by different kinds of disasters. This book brings a critical perspective to post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, which can impact in both the short- and long- term upon society, politics and organisations.

It is often assumed that disaster-hit areas return to normality or even ‘build back better’ thanks to the interventions of experts. Giuseppe Forino considers the complexities of disaster recovery and the sometimes radical changes in individual and collective behaviours that persist following such events. Bringing together the impacts of natural hazards (including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic), this edited book will stimulate debate on policy and practice in disaster recovery.

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This book aimed at exploring to what extent disaster (and disaster recovery) change the affected places. The book argues that after a disaster the affected places change how people make sense and perceive their place, how politics provides for the needs of the people, how different knowledges interact in managing affected places, as well as how organizations perform their everyday activities. The book provided a journey about these changes occurring in different post-disaster contexts in Italy. Its chapters focused on cases from the North to South of the country, from islands to mainland, and from rural to urban areas, covering a range of post-disaster environments after hazards occurred very recently (from earthquakes in 2016–2017 to the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020) or decades ago (the Vesuvius eruption in 1944 or the Irpinia earthquake in 1980). In Part I, contributors shared their views on how case studies can illustrate main changes into society. In this regard, some contributors focused on the different perceptions about risk. As internationally demonstrated, risk and disaster perceptions must be taken into account to communicate and elaborate public actions and interventions (Alcántara-Ayala and Moreno, 2016). However, these perceptions vary greatly across people and communities. In Chapter 1, Dall’Ò explored this variety, demonstrating the existence of different perceptions across local communities, experts and institutions about landslide risk in a mountain area of Northwest Italy. In this area, the struggle is how to build social and political consensus around landslide risk reduction measures. To do this, exploring the way risk is negotiated, understood, and both accepted and contested locally is important to undertake fruitful ways to implement disaster risk reduction.

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Disaster recovery is always a challenging time for affected places. Places, people, environments and economies try to function and perform again, moving forward across rubble, dust, pain and death. Disaster recovery is therefore the process by which a system that has experienced a structural failure re-establishes a routine, organized, institutionalized mode of adaptation to its post-impact environment (Bates and Peacock, 1989). This emphasizes the reorganization of social life and the creation of a new, stable relationship between social and environmental features (Bates and Peacock, 1989). Therefore, disaster recovery is a complex process where different actors play a game, interact, conflict and discuss what, how, why to rebuild and recover. At a glance, disaster recovery is always a challenging time for affected places. Several common misconceptions, however, exist around the efforts for recovering places. One is that it is often stated that recovery efforts should be oriented towards bringing back the affected places and their social, political, institutional and organizational features at their ‘normal’ state, to regain an undefined normalcy (Rivera, 2020). But, we can argue, if that state of normalcy prior to the disaster was unable to avoid the occurrence of a disaster, this state of normalcy needs to be changed. Also, who and what define ‘normalcy’? Neoliberal societies such as the contemporary, globalized and hyperconnected ones consist of a complex set of actions, procedures, and flows interacting across scales, spaces and places. These can be highly dynamic and quickly change also into so-called remote places. Normalcy, therefore, hardly exists. Places changes, so do humans, so do environments.

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From earthquakes to oil spills, Italy is recurrently affected by different kinds of disasters. This book brings a critical perspective to post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, which can impact in both the short and long term upon society, politics and organizations. It is often assumed that disaster-hit areas return to normality or even ‘build back better’ thanks to the interventions of experts. Giuseppe Forino considers the complexities of disaster recovery and the sometimes radical changes in individual and collective behaviours that persist following such events. Bringing together the impacts of natural hazards (including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic), this edited book will stimulate debate on policy and practice in disaster recovery

Restricted access

From earthquakes to oil spills, Italy is recurrently affected by different kinds of disasters. This book brings a critical perspective to post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, which can impact in both the short and long term upon society, politics and organizations. It is often assumed that disaster-hit areas return to normality or even ‘build back better’ thanks to the interventions of experts. Giuseppe Forino considers the complexities of disaster recovery and the sometimes radical changes in individual and collective behaviours that persist following such events. Bringing together the impacts of natural hazards (including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic), this edited book will stimulate debate on policy and practice in disaster recovery

Restricted access

From earthquakes to oil spills, Italy is recurrently affected by different kinds of disasters. This book brings a critical perspective to post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, which can impact in both the short and long term upon society, politics and organizations. It is often assumed that disaster-hit areas return to normality or even ‘build back better’ thanks to the interventions of experts. Giuseppe Forino considers the complexities of disaster recovery and the sometimes radical changes in individual and collective behaviours that persist following such events. Bringing together the impacts of natural hazards (including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic), this edited book will stimulate debate on policy and practice in disaster recovery

Restricted access

From earthquakes to oil spills, Italy is recurrently affected by different kinds of disasters. This book brings a critical perspective to post-disaster reconstruction and recovery, which can impact in both the short and long term upon society, politics and organizations. It is often assumed that disaster-hit areas return to normality or even ‘build back better’ thanks to the interventions of experts. Giuseppe Forino considers the complexities of disaster recovery and the sometimes radical changes in individual and collective behaviours that persist following such events. Bringing together the impacts of natural hazards (including climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic), this edited book will stimulate debate on policy and practice in disaster recovery

Restricted access