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Title: From risk to vulnerability : the role of perceived adaptive capacity for the acceptance of contested infrastructure
Authors : Moser, Corinne
Stauffacher, Michael
Blumer, Yann B.
Scholz, Roland W.
Published in : Journal of Risk Research
Volume(Issue) : 18
Issue : 5
Pages : 622
Pages to: 636
Publisher / Ed. Institution : Routledge
Issue Date: 2015
License (according to publishing contract) : Licence according to publishing contract
Type of review: Peer review (Publication)
Language : English
Subject (DDC) : 363: Environmental and security problems
Abstract: Infrastructure projects such as repositories for nuclear waste or hazardous waste sites impose risks (in the form of potential burdens or losses) over extensive timescales. These risks change dynamically over time and so, potentially, does their management. Societies and key actors go through learning processes and subsequently may be better able to deal with related challenges. However, social scientific research on the acceptance of such projects is mainly concerned with (static) risk perception issues and does not include dynamic aspects. Adaptive capacity, which is part of the concept of vulnerability, therefore represents a promising complementing facet for this line of research. The aim of this paper is to examine the role of perceived adaptive capacity for the acceptance of contested long-term infrastructure for the two issues of nuclear and hazardous waste. In an online experimental survey (N = 300) examining either the acceptance of a nuclear waste repository or of a hazardous waste site we demonstrate that i) perceived adaptive capacity can be separated empirically as a psychological construct from risk and benefit perception, and ii) perceived adaptive capacity explains a significant additional share of variance in the acceptance of both waste types beyond risk and benefit perception. Furthermore, we report what adaptation mechanisms of perceived adaptive capacity participants expect to occur in the future. We conclude that such a dynamic perspective yields important insights in understanding individual decision-making regarding long-term infrastructure projects.
Departement: School of Engineering
Organisational Unit: Institute of Sustainable Development (INE)
Publication type: Article in scientific Journal
DOI : 10.1080/13669877.2014.910687
ISSN: 1366-9877
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Engineering

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