A disturbance innovation hypothesis: perspectives from human and physical geography

Timothy D. Baird, Brian C. Chaffin, David J. Wrathall

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

As attention to resilience grows, debates in geography have focused on the relationship between resilience and vulnerability. This discussion raises further questions that geographers may be well positioned to address: what can be done in contexts where vulnerability is desirable, or where resilience is undesirable and where innovation may be called for? Many undesirable systems are resilient, yet strategies to break resilience down and promote innovation are not often discussed. Building on perspectives from human and physical geography, we present a new hypothesis about the relationship between disturbance and innovation. This disturbance innovation hypothesis states that low and high levels of disturbance are associated with the highest levels of innovation while intermediate levels of disturbance are associated with the lowest levels of innovation. By integrating broad perspectives from geography and its related fields, we hope to spur discussion surrounding unwanted resilience, barriers to reform, and strategies for transformation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-208
Number of pages8
JournalGeographical Journal
Volume183
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2017

Keywords

  • disturbance
  • diversity
  • innovation
  • resilience

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