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ISEK - Institut für Sozialanthropologie und Empirische Kulturwissenschaft Ethnologie

Radical Resilience

Encountering Flood Policies, Knowledge Formations and Climate Transformation Processes


Kathrin Eitel

Coastal cities such as Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam are particularly affected by climate change due to flooding and rising sea levels. In view of future threat scenarios, resilient policies are the new key element of urban policy. They aim to strengthen a city's adaptive capacity to climate shocks, but often disregard existing and gender-specific resilience practices ‘on the ground’. At the same time, international ‘political templates’ for flood protection measures that provide a certain body of knowledge about how best to deal with floods are often unreflectively implemented on-site.

In this context, the project aims to understand the multiple connections between local and gendered practices of flood control and the power of knowledge production, including the hegemonic and heteronormative worldviews inscribed in it. It also examines the social impacts of flood policies based on satellite data in Vietnamese and Cambodian coastal regions, as well as technological megaprojects such as dams and nature-based solution programs, for example, with regard to mangrove restoration.

More information about the project:

A street in Phnom Penh during rainy season, 2023. Photo: Kathrin Eitel