Community Level Social Capital and Resilience1 Chapter uri icon


  • Evidence that social, not just physical, infrastructure drives resilience to shocks and crises is increasing. Despite disasters rising toll in terms of human lives and financial costs, much research and policy remain focused on physical infrastructurecentered approaches to natural hazards and human-made stressors. Governments across the world continue to spend heavily on hardening physical barriers to disasters, raising existing property out of floodplains, and repairing damaged facilities. This chapter highlights the critical roles of social capital, trust, and networks in disaster survival and recovery and lays out recent literature and evidence on the topic. We provide definitions of social capital, measurement and proxies, types of social capital, and mechanisms and application. The chapter concludes with policy recommendations for disaster managers, government decision-makers, and NGOs for increasing resilience to catastrophe through strengthening social infrastructure.

author list (cited authors)

  • Aldrich, D. P., & Meyer, M. A.

complete list of authors

  • Aldrich, Daniel P||Meyer, Michelle A

editor list (cited editors)

  • McGee, T. K., & Penning-Rowsell, E. C.

Book Title

  • Routledge Handbook of Environmental Hazards and Society

publication date

  • May 2022