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Charles R. Hale, Director SRH 1.310, 2300 Red River Street D0800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512.471.5551

Forum: "Hybrid Forms of Urban Governance in Mexico"

Fri, April 4, 2014 • 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM • SUT 2.114

Anja Nygren, University of Helsinki

Cities around the world are developing new forms of governing environmental risks and vulnerabilities causing overwhelming human suffering and infrastructure damage in densely populated urban areas. According to conventional literature on risk, one of the main reasons why risk governance fails to support sustainability is that technocratic environmental policies pay insufficient attention to social and cultural aspects of risk management. This research questions such kind of argumentation. By focusing on catastrophic floods in the city of Villahermosa, south-eastern Mexico, this study argues that the dominant flood governance strategies rely on hybrid techniques of governance, where technocratic risk prevention measures are strategically linked to programmes of cultural adaptation and social resilience. The analysis is based on ethnographic field research carried out among governmental, private and civil society actors, as well as among local residents in three socially differentiated neighbourhoods of Villahermosa in 2011–2014.

For more information, contact Bjorn Sletto.


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