Drivers of transformative change in the Italian landslide risk policy

Scolobig A, Linnerooth-Bayer J, & Pelling M (2014). Drivers of transformative change in the Italian landslide risk policy. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 9: 124-136. DOI:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2014.05.003.

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Abstract

In the face of needed transformation of disaster policy towards more pro-active investments in prevention and preparedness, we discuss the factors contributing to or driving disaster policy change. Building on policy learning and change theory, the research focuses on the relationship between widely publicized catastrophic events, advocacy coalitions that promote new policy initiatives, and other contextual factors driving change. We demonstrate the complex interaction of transformative changes and context by analyzing the history of Italian landslide risk policy, including the policy process, legal and institutional landscapes, scientific innovation and major hydro-geological disasters. A desk study is combined with 18 semi-structured interviews with expert informants and stakeholders at the national level. Two historical examples, the 1966 Florence flood (influencing landslide policy) and the 1998 Sarno landslide, show how catastrophic disasters can open a policy window; but events, alone, are not sufficient for driving major reforms. In these examples, disaster events were coupled with strong advocacy coalitions that promoted policy change. Some disciplinary coalitions proved to be particularly successful in influencing policy paths, especially if they belonged to long established and organized groups (e.g. hydrologists as opposed to geophysicists). Also, the capability to provide models and scenarios, e.g. due to more reliable forecasts for floods than landslides, influenced the capacity of certain coalitions to push their ideas forward. The study reveals the critical need to proactively promote exchanges between scientists and policy-makers in order to better formulate and implement needed changes in disaster policy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Landslide risk policy; Policy change; Drivers of change; Transformation; Advocacy coalitions; Epistemic communities
Research Programs: Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV)
Risk & Resilience (RISK)
Bibliographic Reference: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction; 9:124-136 (September 2014) (Published online 11 May 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2016 10:15
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10911

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