Community-Institution Social Capital (CISC), Flood Risk and Resilience: Lessons from South Devon, UK
Posted: 4 Jun 2016
Date Written: June 2016
There is a growing recognition that social capital plays an important role in the development of community resilience and this paper aims to deepen the understanding of that role by examining social capital derived from community-institution relations and exploring the potential of that form of social capital to enhance community resilience. The context for the study was flood risk, involving three case study communities in South Devon, UK (Newton Abbot, Teignmouth and Shaldon), where there was a current and growing future threat from tidal flooding. The research was interested to learn what the structure of community-institution social capital (CISC) in a community revealed about its level of resilience and how a captured image of community CISC can help in the formulation of proposals to enhance the resilience of the community. Data for the study was collected using a questionnaire, augmented by interviews with individuals responsible for managing flood risk in the area where the communities were located, and processed using a social network analysis tool called NodeXL. The NodeXL tool facilitated the image capture of CISC in each of the three communities and upon which an assessment of the communities’ resilience was based. Analysis, revealed a good correlation between the level of CISC and the level of community resilience, but it also provided a deeper understand of the role that fragmentation in community-institutions relations can play in depleting the resilience of the community. Where community level CISC was low, as a result of fragmentation, the ability of the community to engender and mobilise other capitals to address the local flood risk was greatly diminished. Conversely, where community CISC was high and where there was no fragmentation the community was much more effective at engendering and mobilising a wide range of other capitals to address the local flood risk. The captured images of CISC within each community enabled the strengths and weakness of different strategies to enhance community resilience to be effectively assessed and CISC was thus found to have high potential for further use in studies aimed at developing a deeper understanding of role played by social capital in the development of community resilience.
Keywords: Community Resilience, Social Capital, Flood Risk, NodeXL
JEL Classification: O10, O18, O20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation