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Environmental hazards and society: Landsliding in Basilicata, Italy, with specific reference to Grassano.

Oliver, Stuart (1994) Environmental hazards and society: Landsliding in Basilicata, Italy, with specific reference to Grassano. MPhil thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This dissertation takes a realist approach to examine landsliding in the Basilicata region of Italy, with specific reference to the municipality of Grassano, in order to understand humankind's role in contributing to environmental hazards. It concludes that environmental hazards such as landslides have partly-social causes, which are characteristic of the societies they affect, and any real accommodation with environmental hazards must involve radical social change. The dissertation analyzes the differing explanations for environmental hazards given by previous schools of thought. Passing to the empirical material to be examined using these ideas, it describes the current pattern of landslides in Basilicata and discusses whether the reported landslide hazard has increased during the twentieth century. It then examines the physical environment of the region, and discusses the extent to which recent reported changes in the intensity of landslides are correlated to changes in the use of the land. The example of the municipality of Grassano allows an examination of the causative mechanisms behind the regional trends. The dissertation examines the vulnerability of Grassano's physical environment to landslides, and the social factors which have influenced landsliding there. It then discusses the history of landslides in the municipality, and the extent to which they have intensified during the twentieth century. Finally it questions the degree to which reported changes in the level of landslides in Grassano have been the result of a growing sensitivity to landslides. The dissertation's conclusion summarizes the work done, then evaluates the contribution to academic knowledge. It ends with an assessment of the viability of likely future approaches to reducing the landslide hazard in Basilicata.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental Sciences, Physical Geography
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1440

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