Vulnerability and resilience in natural disasters: A Marketing and public policy perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

66 Scopus citations


This essay addresses how the definitions of disaster and vulnerability serve as guides for market and policy responses and shows how a fundamental lack of understanding of what creates a disaster and what constitutes human (and consumer) vulnerability constrains the ability of individuals, communities, and institutions to mitigate and/or recover from natural hazards and the responses that follow. The essay outlines the current state of affairs on conceptualizations of disaster and vulnerability, distinguishes between risk and vulnerability, and notes ten paradoxes of disaster that create constraints on resilience. Fundamentally, the perspective taken here is that disaster is socially constructed and that vulnerability is a dynamic process that depends on a host of contextual factors. The essay shows that sustainable models of economic, social, and environmental development are at the heart of disaster and vulnerability analysis. Furthermore, it argues that market and policy responses must consider both the resource deficits and adaptive capacities of disaster survivors and the characteristics of the environments in which they live to cocreate opportunities for resilience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-123
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Public Policy and Marketing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

Cite this