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Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience

About the Centre

Centre of Risk and Resil

The Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience (CIRRR) brings together researchers from across disciplines in order to explore risk and resilience as ways of understanding and responding to social, ecological and political crises today.

About the centre

As the risks that confront us globally have become more unpredictable, unpreventable and potentially catastrophic, resilience has informed answers to problems of environmental, societal, and political governance. From conflict and security to environmental pollution, and from individuals to communities and nations, resilience appears to offer innovative responses to crises of governance. At the same time, the meanings of the term resilience, its uses, and the solutions it offers to global problems are multiple and ambiguous.

The Centre for Integrated Research on Risk & Resilience (CIRRR) is a multi-disciplinary research centre at King’s College London in the UK that takes a critical perspective on resilience and its application as a concept. The Centre integrates research across disciplines and areas of research on risk and resilience, to create new knowledge and push the boundaries of knowledge. It also integrates research and policy concerns, thus mobilising to respond to needs of the policy domain.

Members are drawn from disciplines as diverse as geography, war studies, psychology, global health and social medicine, law and the environmental sciences. See the Research Areas section for more information about the aims of each research area, its members, projects and outputs; information on individual members and their research interests can be found under the Members section.

The Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience (CIRRR) is headed by Professor Mark Pelling and Dr Helen Adams in the Department of Geography. Please email us with any questions you might have or to become involved. 

Prof. Mark Pelling 
Centre Director / Senior Lecturer in Geography
Mark’s research interests are in the institutions and social relationships that shape vulnerability and adaptation to natural disasters, including those associated with climate change, and in the ways in which conflicting values and practices of development inform resilience and transformation in the face of environmental change.
More about Prof Mark Pelling
Dr. Helen Adams  
Centre Director

Helen works on the human dimensions of environmental change, with a particular focus on migration. Taking a pro-poor, pro-migrant perspective her work highlights the importance of the non-material dimensions of environmental and social change.

More about Dr Helen Adams

Our approach to resilience

Critical: Resilience is a key concept on research and policy agendas. As with all concepts that open new avenues, resilience is often unquestioned, its normative values, promises and techniques adopted or simply finessed. The Centre takes seriously the need for a critique of resilience, in order to understand its limits, reformulate its legacies and prepare for better futures. Risk has similarly risen to influence policy and academic analysis, and the implications of this for the deployment of public resources, and for assumptions about safety in society and reasonable government responsibility have all shifted as a result.

Collaborative: Resilience has travelled widely across areas of concerns and problems of governance. Our research is collaborative in order to understand the differences that underpin resilience, how it has been and is being articulated with other responses to risk and uncertainty, and how it might have been transformed in translation across policy areas. By working across disciplinary and policy domains and through a joined up approach to risk and resilience discourse it becomes possible to explore the grand narratives that are emerging from this new policy nexus and its interaction with unmet development challenges of social justice and sustainability.

Creative: The Centre supports research that expands the boundaries of knowledge, and combines theoretical advances with a range of empirical fields and questions. Confronting the challenges of development through risk and resilience includes the search for novel methodologies and for new positioning of research, pubic engagement and policy impact. Creative methodologies that can interact with those at risk and risk managers or those seeking to build resilience as part of a research and impact strategy are a priority.


Areas of research 

CIRRR activities fall under six key areas of research: Disaster and Risk; Migration and Resettlement; Health and Disease; Governance and policy; Conflict and Security and Management of social-ecological systems. Relevant pages provide further information on each research areas aims, projects, associated members and output papers.


hazards and disaster

Disaster and Risk  

Headed by: Prof. Mark Pelling

Researchers in the Natural Hazards and Climate Change group focus on reducing risk and losses through the monitoring and implementation of informed risk reduction decisions and through reductions in vulnerability or exposure.

 Centre of Risk and Resil

Migration And Resettlement  

Headed by: Dr. Helen Adams

Research under this theme addresses both the ways and means by which migration interacts with state, community or individual resilience to protect the well-being and rights of people on the move and their host communities.


Health and Disease

Headed by: Prof. Anthea Tinker

This research group focuses on resilience as a historically distinctive concept and its impact on actors, institutions and the governance of health and disease. 



 Govena nd Policy  

Governance and Policy  

Headed by: Dr. Courtney Davis

The focus of this strand of research is on the resilience of institutions of governance, such as regulatory agencies, in the context of prevailing political and policy environments.


Social-Ecological Systems Management   

Headed by: Dr. Rob Francis

Current research on Social-Ecological & Environmental Systems and their Management within CIRRR is focused on the NERC Global Challenges Research Fund project ‘War Impact on Dryland Environments and Social-Ecological Resilience in Somalia (WIDER-SOMA)’


Conflict and Security

 Heade by: Prof. Claudia Aradau

The research group on Conflict and Security aims to analyse the implications of this extension of resilience from war to peace and from catastrophic risks to everyday security practices.

Our Members

King’s Centre for Integrated Research on Risk and Resilience (CIRRR) is headed by Professor Mark Pelling and Dr. Helen Adams. Our research combines a wide range of academic disciplines, resulting in a diverse and broadly experienced group. To find out more about individual members and their research interests click here.


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