ERC Project HydroSocialExtremes
Unraveling the mutual shaping of hydrological extremes and society
The Transformative Potential of Extreme Weather Events
Triggers for Disaster Risk Reduction and Development (TRAMPOLINE)
When it rains it pours
Biogeophysical drivers and societal responses to compound natural hazard events in Sweden
Research portrait: Daniel Nohrstedt
CNDS Scientific Coordinator and Professor at the Department of Government, Uppsala University
- What is your area of expertise?
I study hazards and disasters through a governance and public policy lens, which means that I am interested in questions about collective-action and the way environmental problems are defined and addressed in contexts with multiple stakeholders with diverging interests and beliefs. For example, I study how networks of organizations form and respond to disaster events and how disruptive disasters may be leveraged as opportunities for policy learning and change toward enhanced risk reduction and sustainable development. I am also interested in conditions for success and failure in disaster management and public policy.
- What sparked your interest in natural hazards and disaster science?
This came out of a broader interest in societal security, including foreign policy and international relations. These fields share a common interest in how governments and other organizations cope with complex problems, but do not come all the way to describe the “nuts and bolts” how this happens. In this regard, I see hazards and disasters as great social science laboratories that allows us to study various processes of collective action in society. Also, providing safety is a key responsibility of the state in democratic society, thus studying how this plays out in practice is a core topic for political science.
- If you could only work on one problem/issue/challenge in natural hazards and disaster science it would be a life-long field-study of hazard planning activities in Hawaii, because Hawaii has a fascinating history of natural hazard events. I could not think of a better place for a field study, plus I have to work on my surfing skills.
- What book or paper has been most influential to your career and why?
Essence of Decision, Graham Allison’s book on the Cuban Missile Crisis. Elegant design, carefully executed empirical analysis, and a must-read for anyone interested in crisis management. Inspiring in many ways, state of the art theory and methods.
- What do you like to do when you’re not working on research?
Write grant proposals, teach, and hang out in an endless stream of Zoom-meetings.
- What is your favourite place that you would like to share with early career scientists?
Anywhere sunny and warm where you can talk to disaster management practitioners in a relaxed atmosphere. The annual Natural Hazards conference outside Denver, Colorado, is a personal favorite.