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FutureproofHow to Build Resilience in an Uncertain World$
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Jon Coaffee

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300228670

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300228670.001.0001

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Fate, Choice and the Birth of Risk

Fate, Choice and the Birth of Risk

(p.19) 1 Fate, Choice and the Birth of Risk

Jon Coaffee

Yale University Press

This chapter tells the story of how ideas of resilience emerged as the go-to futureproofing idea in the early years of the twenty-first century. It has a long history dating back to pre-modern times and extends through the advancement of associated ideas of ‘risk’. Tracing the deeper development of changes in the way hazards and disasters have been historically viewed, and vulnerability felt, by human civilisations of the past, is vital to understanding the roots of contemporary dilemmas and the growing influence of ideas of resilience in the twenty-first century. There are long-term historical processes that have defined the contours of society and the slowly evolving structures that collectively symbolise how the need to be able to account for hazards and disasters has reshaped our world. As such, this is a story of religious versus scientific explanations, and of enhancing the ability to control the future through better knowledge about what is in store and the likelihood of certain events occurring.

Keywords:   risk, resilience, fate, futureproofing, historical processes, hazards, disasters

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