Case Studies Introduction

Source Document: Christian Kuhlicke, with contribution from Chloe Begg, Anna Kunath, Gunnar Dressler, Maximilian Beyer, Ines Callsen, A. Nuray Karanci, Canay Doğulu, Gozde Ikizer, Dilek Ozceylan, Lydia Pedoth, Sebastian Jülich, Richard Taylor, Christian Kofler, Nilufar Matin, John Forrester, Stefan Schneiderbauer, CSB Grimmond, S Kotthaus, T Sun, HC Ward, S Norbert, Z Zaidi, J Sharpe, M Pelling, T Abeling, Hugh Deeming, Belinda Davis, Maureen Fordham and Simon Taylor. 2015-04-09. Summary of case studies of the emBRACE project. Deliverable 5.1

The Summary of case studies of the emBRACE project report summarizes some of the key empirical findings of the case-study work conducted in the emBRACE-project. The singe case studies focused on different hazards - namely floods, earthquakes, alpine hazards (i.e. landslides) and heat-waves; engaged with different management and governance settings across Europe; and are situated in different economic, social and cultural settings. This makes comparison of case study results in the strict sense a challenging if not impossible endeavor, this all the more as the single case studies followed different but complementary methodological approaches and are hence based on different data and methods (see see Table 1), have developed and are shaped by different epistemological emphases (not to mention disciplinary differences).

Furthermore, also seemingly similar concepts do not necessarily mean the same in different cultural contexts – implying interpretative equivalence should not be taken for granted. For example, while in some cultures renting a home is considered as a sign of lower social status (e.g. in the UK), in others (e.g. Germany) this interrelation is not as strong—rental housing is widespread also among middle and partly even upper classes. Hence, home ownership does not have the same meaning in terms of status in different cultural contexts and the indicator does not allow for assuming interpretative equivalence.

There are furthermore many many ‘immaterial’ aspects, such as local knowledge, culture, traditions, norms and mores, which shape the resilience of communities at risk, these factors are hard to grasp and even more difficult to measure. Therefore this report aims at outlining common themes that run through all or at least some of the reports summarized in table 1.1. Section 2 summarizes the central research questions/interests as well as the main empirical findings. Section 3 then proceeds with elaborating on some of the common themes that I was able to identify.

Table 1: Overview on methods employed in the case studies and empirical basis of case study findings