Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Annals of Valahia University of Targoviste, Geographical Series

2 Issues per year

Open Access
See all formats and pricing
More options …

Conceptual Delimitations Between Resilience, Vulnerability and Adaptive Capacity to Extreme Events and Global Change

Andra Costache
  • Valahia University of Târgoviște, Department of Geography Lt. Stancu Ion, no. 34-36, Târgoviște, Dâmbovița, 0245206105
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2017-11-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/avutgs-2017-0018


While extensively employed in the mainstream literature focused on earth system science and sustainable development, the concepts of resilience, vulnerability and adaptation are still difficult to operationalize given the different conceptual frameworks proposed in various scientific fields, such as ecology, disaster reduction and global change. Although multiple points of view are, to a certain degree, beneficial to an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the coupled human-environmental systems, there is a need to correlate the theoretical frameworks of the two sustainability pillars, resilience and vulnerability, in a coherent and efficient manner.

Keywords: resilience; vulnerability; multiple conceptual frameworks


  • Alexander, D. E. 2013, Resilience and disaster risk reduction: an etymological journey. Natural hazards and earth system sciences, 13(11), 2707-2716.Google Scholar

  • Berkes, F., J. Colding, Folke, C. (edit.) 2003, Navigating social–ecological systems: building resilience for complexity and change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar

  • Carpenter, S., Walker, B., Anderies, J. M., Abel, N. 2001, From metaphor to measurement: resilience of what to what? Ecosystems, 4(8), 765-781.Google Scholar

  • Costanza, R., Patten, B. C. 1995, Defining and predicting sustainability. Ecological economics, 15(3), 193-196.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Cutter, S. L., Barnes, L., Berry, M., Burton, C., Evans, E., Tate, E., Webb, J. (2008), A place-based model for understanding community resilience to natural disasters. Global environmental change, 18(4), 598-606.Google Scholar

  • Cutter, S. L., Burton, C. G., Emrich, C. T. 2010, Disaster resilience indicators for benchmarking baseline conditions. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 7(1), article 51CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Cutter, S. L. 2016, The landscape of disaster resilience indicators in the USA. Natural hazards, 80(2), 741-758.Google Scholar

  • Folke, C., Carpenter, S. R., Walker, B., Scheffer, M., Chapin, Rockström, J. 2010, Resilience thinking: integrating resilience, adaptability and transformability. Ecology and Society 15(4): 20. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol15/iss4/art20/Crossref

  • Gunderson L, Holling CS, (editors) 2001, Panarchy: understanding transformations in human and natural systems. Washington (DC): Island Press.Google Scholar

  • Holling, C. S. 1973, Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annual review of ecology and systematics, 4(1), 1-23.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hufschmidt, G. 2011, A comparative analysis of several vulnerability concepts. Natural hazards, 58(2), 621-643.Google Scholar

  • ISDR 2009, UNISDR terminology on disaster risk reduction. Geneva, Switzerland, 35 p.Google Scholar

  • IPCC 2014, Annex II: Glossary [Mach, K.J., S. Planton and C. von Stechow (edit.)] in: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (edit.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 117-130.Google Scholar

  • Klein, R. J., Nicholls, R. J., Thomalla, F. 2003, Resilience to natural hazards: How useful is this concept?. Global Environmental Change Part B: Environmental Hazards, 5(1), 35-45.Google Scholar

  • MacAskill, K., Guthrie, P. 2014, Multiple interpretations of resilience in disaster risk management. Procedia Economics and Finance, 18, 667-674.Google Scholar

  • National Research Council (NRC) (2012, Disaster resilience: a national imperative. The National Academies Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar

  • Reghezza-Zitt, M., Rufat, S., Djament-Tran, G., Le Blanc, A., Lhomme, S. 2012, What resilience is not: uses and abuses. Cybergeo: European Journal of Geography, http://cybergeo.revues.org/25554, accessed on 30.11.2016

  • Schipper, E. L. F., Langston, L. 2015, A comparative overview of resilience measurement frameworks: analysing indicators and approaches. Overseas Development Institute—Working Paper, 422.Google Scholar

  • Turner, B.L., Kasperson, R.E., Matson, P.A., McCarthy, J.J., Corell, R.W., Christensen, L., Eckley, N., Kasperson, J.X., Luers, A., Martello, M.L., Polsky, C., Pulsipher, A., Schiller, A. 2003, A framework for vulnerability analysis in sustainability science. Proceedings of the national academy of sciences 100(14):8074–8079.Google Scholar

  • Turner, B. L. 2010, Vulnerability and resilience: Coalescing or paralleling approaches for sustainability science? Global Environmental Change, 20(4), 570-576.Google Scholar

  • Resilience Alliance 2016, Adaptive cycle, https://www.resalliance.org/adaptive-cycle, accessed on 30.11.2016

  • USAID 2013, The Resilience Agenda: Measuring Resilience in USAID, https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1866/Technical%20Note_Measuring%20Resilience%20in%20USAID_June%202013.pdf, accessed on 30.11.2016

  • Walker, B.H, Holling, C.S., Carpenter, S.R., Kinzig, A. 2004, Resilience, adaptability and transformability in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society 9(2):5, http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol9/iss2/art5, accessed on 30.11.2016Crossref

About the article

Published Online: 2017-11-10

Published in Print: 2017-10-01

Citation Information: Annals of Valahia University of Targoviste, Geographical Series, Volume 17, Issue 2, Pages 198–205, ISSN (Online) 2393-1493, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/avutgs-2017-0018.

Export Citation

© 2017 Andra Costache, published by De Gruyter Open. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in