Dimensions of Vulnerability of Livelihoods in Less-favoured Areas: Interplay Between the Individual and the Collective

J. Brons, T. Dietz, A. Niehof, K. Witsenburg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The geographical concentration of persistent poverty in so-called less-favoured areas (LFAs) calls for a critical look at the link between poverty and environment. Livelihood studies tend to focus on poverty at the individual level, whereas the concept of LFA implies a problem for the collective. Studies on vulnerability tend to be biased towards external ecological causes at the regional level, while studies on coping and survival usually focus on the household. However, recent insights into the internal and external dimensions of livelihood vulnerability in LFAs provide an argument for linking both dimensions to dynamics at the individual and collective level. At an aggregate level, individual and household responses to vulnerability lead to intended and unintended effects, while there is also evidence of collective responses to factors originating from the external vulnerability context. These linkages between the external and internal dimensions of vulnerability and responses at the individual, aggregate and collective level should be studied to understand and mitigate current trends of increasing vulnerability of livelihoods in LFAs. Emerging key issues include: (i) analysis of change; (ii) analysis of livelihood pathways; (iii) aggregate consequences of behaviour; and (iv) cultural dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Poverty Reduction in Less-Favoured Areas
EditorsR. Ruben, J. Pender, A. Kuyvenhoven
Place of PublicationWallingford
PublisherCAB International
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781845932770
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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