Analysing changes in disaster terminology over the last decade
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionStaupe-Delgado, R. (2019) Analysing changes in disaster terminology over the last decade. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, vol. 40. 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101161
Disaster researchers devote considerable attention to concept formation in an attempt to steer DRR terminology towards greater definitional coherence. Many researchers and policy makers frequently turn to UNISDR and their oft-cited terminology guide to ensure that concepts are employed consistently between agencies and research projects. An update to this guide introduced in 2017 introduced a range of new terms while removing and redefining others that featured in the 2009 edition of the guide. Taking a comparative look at the changes introduced, this paper sets out to reflect on the direction in which the conceptual landscape in the DRR field is headed. Whether the sum of the terminological updates made by the open ended intergovernmental expert working group is positive or negative will probably depend on the stakeholder group in question. For researchers in particular, some of the new definitions should be welcomed as they are more precise and allow for better discrimination. However, as yet other definitions are more ambiguous, some researchers may prefer definitions from the 2009 guide, definitions from elsewhere, or their own stipulated definitions that suit their research needs.