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Munich Re Foundation Chair on Social Vulnerability

The Munich Re Foundation (MRF) Chair on Social Vulnerability has been accommodated at UNU-EHS since 2005 to support and initiate policy relevant research on social vulnerability. This project has been extended to 2012 due to its success in the first project period between 2005 and 2009.

The concept of social vulnerability links the environments where people live to their social interactions, institutions and systems of different cultural values. In its broadest sense, social vulnerability refers to the inability of people, societies and organizations to cope with negative impacts from natural hazards or other shocks/disasters.

The chair consists of seven internationally renowned professors acting on a rotating basis for one academic year. They explore the cultural and economic dimensions of social vulnerability, including institutional and governance factors.

The project has engaged over 120 top PhD candidates from around the world in the annual summer academy, and has created an active social vulnerability network among students, prestigious academic institutions and professors.

A series of policy relevant publications dealing with social vulnerabilities from interdisciplinary perspectives has been generated by the summer academy participants and the chair holders.

Time Span

2005-2012

Key Goals

  • Expanding the social vulnerability research agenda
  • Increasing literature on social vulnerability
  • Building capacity of young professionals working with the MRF Chair network
  • Establishing the Munich Re Foundation Chair on Social Vulnerability as a recognized catalyst force

Working Methods

  • MRF Chair project strives to engage in innovative research that investigates the issues of social vulnerability, in particular, the nexus of environmental change and migration
  • Capacity-building: with the MRF chair-holders who provide a broad base of expertise in social vulnerability science, MRF project educates a young generation of scientists and familiarize them with policy language through various activities, in particular, the annual Summer Academy

  • Dissemination: the Chair project produces a series of policy relevant publications by young professionals and the MRF chair holders. These publications deal with social vulnerabilities from interdisciplinary perspectives and provide policy makers with practicable recommendations.

Chairholder 2009-2012

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Prof. Michelle Leighton

Chairholder 2009-2010

University of San Francisco School of Law,

Centre for Law and Global Justice

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Prof. Mohamed Hamza

Chairholder 2010-2011

Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

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Prof. Susan L. Cutter

Chairholder 2011-2012

University of South Carolina, 

Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute

Chairholder 2005-2009

Contact

  • Dr. Cosmin Corendea

    Associate Academic Officer 

    MRF Chair

    Tel.: + 49-228-815-0274

    Fax: + 49-228-815-0299

    e-mail:

Websites

Munich Re Foundation

Summer Academy on Social Vulnerability

Download

Social Vulnerability Bulletin No. 5