Forging a paradigm shift in disaster science

A. T. Ismail-Zadeh, S. L. Cutter, K. Takeuchi, D. Paton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Despite major advancements in knowledge on disaster risks and disasters caused by natural hazards, the number and severity of disasters are increasing. Convolving natural, engineering, social and behavioral sciences and practices with policymaking should significantly reduce disaster risks caused by natural hazards. To this end, a fundamental change in scientific approaches to disaster risk reduction is needed by shifting the current emphasis on individual hazard and risk assessment dominant in the geoscientific community to a transdisciplinary system analysis with action-oriented research on disaster risk reduction co-produced with multiple stakeholders, including policymakers. This paradigm shift will allow for acquisition of policy-relevant knowledge and its immediate application to evidence-based policy and decision making for disaster risk reduction. The need for the paradigm shift is more critical now than ever before because of the increasing vulnerability and exposure of society to disaster risk and the need for cross-cutting actions in policy and practice related to climate change and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)969-988
Number of pages20
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


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