Adger W.N. 2006. Vulnerability.. Global Environmental Change..


Reviews current vulnerability research and its links to resilience and adaptation

Geographic Focus: 


Key Findings: 

This article outlines current definitions of vulnerability which highlight exposure, environmental and social stressors, and adaptive capacity. Common and overlapping domains are identified for vulnerability, adaptation and resilience which include: (i) the need for robust and credible measures; (ii) diverse methods for identifying risk and vulnerability; and (iii) to better understand governance mechanisms that reduce vulnerability and enhance adaptive and resilient response. This relates to resilience of both social systems and ecosystems and their interconnections. Consilience is needed across research disciplines that are attempting to address issues relating to vulnerability, adaptation and resilience.


There is a danger that research, and research terminology, may propagate a compartmentalised view of systems management. This article argues that there is a strong relationship between vulnerability, adaptation and resilience and implications for management in complex social-ecological systems. Research and practitioner efforts should be successful in identifying cause and effect between disciplines, and in harmonising these cause and effect relationships into shared frameworks for learning.