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Working at the "speed of trust": pre-existing and emerging social ties in wildfire responder networks in Sweden and Canada
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
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2019 (English)In: Regional Environmental Change, ISSN 1436-3798, E-ISSN 1436-378X, Vol. 19, no 8, p. 2353-2364Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The frequency and severity of natural hazards are predicted to increase with climate change. Collaboration among actors across scales and organizational boundaries is essential to address this escalation. Pre-existing social networks are generally considered a catalyst enabling actors to more quickly address collective action problems. However, empirically derived knowledge about if, how, and why pre-established social networks facilitate effective collaborations in addressing natural hazards is scarce. We use survey data from crisis responders of large-scale wildfires in Sweden and Canada to investigate factors that shape actors’ (i) ability and willingness to form new social ties with other actors and (ii) propensity to “activate” pre-existing social ties. Our results show that many new social ties were established in both events, but also that pre-existing ties comprised a considerable proportion (54–82%) of all ties in use. Using exponential random graph models for temporal networks, we demonstrate that two actors that are working with or have previously worked with a common third actor are more likely to activate pre-existing social ties. Further, new social ties tend to be formed around a few central actors, whereas the opposite seems to apply for the activation of pre-existing ties. The extent to which actors consider others’ organizational affiliation, formal role, previous experience, and level of professionalization differs between the cases. We suggest these tie formation and activation differences can be attributed to diverging organizational contexts varying in their reliance upon self-organizing versus command-and-control approaches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 19, no 8, p. 2353-2364
Keywords [en]
Natural hazards, Crisis response, Collaborative networks, ERGM, Wildfires
National Category
Public Administration Studies
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-398250DOI: 10.1007/s10113-019-01546-zISI: 000511753200016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-398250DiVA, id: diva2:1375102
Funder
Swedish Research CouncilSwedish Research Council FormasSwedish Civil Contingencies AgencyAvailable from: 2019-12-04 Created: 2019-12-04 Last updated: 2020-03-25Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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