A House of Cards: The challenge of establishing societal resilience to flooding through multi-layered governance in England

Meghan Alexander (Lead Author), Sally Priest

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Using English flood‐risk governance as an example, this chapter assesses the relationship between current governance and societal resilience to fluvial and surface water flooding, with a focus on spatial planning, flood defence and mitigation, emergency management, and flood insurance. Within the context of climate change and natural hazards, multi‐level governance is seen as a key characteristic for adaptation and resilience. Multi‐layered flood risk governance is displayed through clearly‐defined jurisdictional levels and hierarchical distributions of responsibilities. Recognizing this multi‐layered structure, the chapter examines the ways in which this appears to influence societal resilience to flooding. This research draws from extensive document analysis of historic and current policy and legislation between 1930 and September 2017. These findings were complemented by 61 semi‐structured interviews conducted between December 2013 and April 2015 with past and present flood‐risk professionals operating at different scales.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFacing Hydrometeorological Extreme Events: A Governance Issue
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781119383567
ISBN (Print)9781119383543
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2019

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