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After the flood: Diverse discourses of resilience in the United States and Australia

Lucas, CH and Young, T 2022 , 'After the flood: Diverse discourses of resilience in the United States and Australia', in K Booth and C Lucas and S French (eds.), Climate, Society and Elemental Insurance: Capacities and Limitations , Routledge, Oxford, UK, pp. 70-82.

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Insurance is widely promoted as a vital means of resilience to climatic disasters such as floods. We describe cases of flood and storm damage that occurred in Houston, United States (2017) and Hobart, Australia (2018). Using these case studies, we examine the ways in which flood resilience is discursively and structurally constructed by governments, insurers, and the public in the United States and Australia. We identify a technocratic discourse of resilience that focusses on financial recovery and bounce-back to equilibrium, perpetuated by insurers and governments. We investigate how the experience of insurance (or lack of insurance) affected the resilience of householders whose homes were flooded. Insured householders described their resilience as affected by the uncertainty created through the insurance experience, and dependent on their capacity to advocate for their rights in a challenging insurance bureaucracy. The insurance-driven recovery process exposed an uneven landscape of vulnerability, access to resources, and political power – illustrating insurance's duality in expediting recovery and amplifying existing disparities.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Lucas, CH and Young, T
Keywords: insurance, climate change, elemental, adaptation
Publisher: Routledge
DOI / ID Number: 10.4324/9781003157571
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2022 Routledge

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