Sub-Contracting Risk: Neoliberal Policy Agendas and the Changing Nature of Flood Risk Management

Lead Research Organisation: University of Hull
Department Name: Geography, Environment and Earth Science


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Haughton G (2017) Risky spaces: Creating, contesting and communicating lines on environmental hazard maps in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

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Haughton G (2015) In search of 'lost' knowledge and outsourced expertise in flood risk management in Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

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Haughton G (2014) The murky waters of flood policy in Town and Country Planning

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Haughton G (2016) Groundhogday: the great floods of 2015 in Town and Country Planning

Description Our research examines the parallel discourses of 'lost' local flood expertise and the growing use of commercial consultancies to outsource aspects of flood risk work. We critically examine the various claims and counter-claims about lost, local and external expertise in flood management, focusing on the aftermath of the 2007 floods in East Yorkshire. Drawing on interviews with consultants, drainage engineers and others we caution against claims that privilege 'local' floods knowledge as 'good' and expert knowledge as somehow suspect. By presenting partial pictures of the reconfiguration of professional, lay and other sources of knowledge, powerful credibility claims are being made that invoke selective accounts of the benefits of local knowledge which rely in part on the parallel denigrating of expert knowledge, appealing to populist 'common sense' notions about the respective merits of locals and remote experts.
Exploitation Route Listen carefully and be critical about those who claim that flood risk knowledge is 'lost' or that 'local' flood risk knowledge is somehow more trustworthy than other sources of knowledge. There is a danger of poor policy emerging out of such over-simplistic claims.
Sectors Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice