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Per Becker publishes a journal article focusing on how development may aggravate disaster risk in South Pacific communities

2017-12-13

The world is changing rapidly, as are the remotest rural communities. Modernity is spreading across the world under the guise of development and it is transforming disaster risk. This raises issues concerning how disaster risk is changing in such milieus. Using a sustainable livelihood approach, this article investigates access to different types of capital that central to the vulnerability of two coastal communities in Fiji that are affected by modernity to different extents. This comparative case study is based on semi-structured interviews, focus groups and observation. The results indicate that modernity transforms access to and use of key capitals (natural, physical, financial, human, and social capital) on both community and household levels, increasing dependence on external resources that are unequally distributed, while undermining social cohesion and support. Although disaster risk might be of a similar magnitude across the board at the community level, modernity transforms vulnerability significantly and skews the distribution of disaster risk, to the detriment of the households left behind by development.

The article is published in the journal Sustainability under the title "Dark Side of Development: Modernity, Disaster Risk and Sustainable Livelihoods in Two Coastal Communities in Fiji”. It is open access and can be downloaded here:www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/9/12/2315/pdf