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Terry Cannon
Terry Cannon

Terry Cannon

Visiting Senior Lecturer


Terry Cannon is a Senior Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Geography. He is a development studies specialist based at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex.

Terry is mainly focused on the significance of natural hazards and climate change as challenges to development. He teaches postgraduate courses at IDS, King’s College London, University College London, University of Copenhagen, University of Lund, Free University of Brussels, Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) and the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Dhaka.

His work also involves advice and training on climate change and disasters for staff of non-governmental organisations and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), governments and research organisations. In 2014, he was lead editor and author of the 'IFRC World Disasters Report: focus on culture and risk'.

He has published academic and policy work on climate change and disasters, and is co-author of 'At Risk: natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters' (Routledge 1994 and 2004) – one of the most cited works in disaster studies, which has been translated into Spanish and Japanese. Other recent publications include as co-editor and author of 'Cultures and Disasters' (Routledge 2015). This forms part of a major research initiative on how people perceive and behave in relation to risks of hazards and climate change, challenging mainstream thinking in disaster institutions.


  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Vulnerability to natural hazards
  • Culture and perceptions of risk
  • Disaster risk creation and the deceptiveness of mainstream disaster risk reduction

Terry's research and capacity-building work is mainly in south Asia (especially Bangladesh). A recent research project in Bangladesh involved assessing what can (and cannot) be done to support livelihoods in cyclone disasters.

He is actively involved in promoting the significance of culture as a major determinant of people’s perception of risk, largely neglected by most disaster risk reduction organisations.