To read this content please select one of the options below:

Building a resilient local council: evidence from flood disasters in Italy

Nick Sciulli (College of Business, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Giuseppe D'Onza (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy)
Giulio Greco (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 10 August 2015




The purpose of this paper is to investigate resilience to extreme weather events (EWE) in a sample of Italian local councils (LCs), impacted by flood disasters. Whether resilience as a concept is adopted by the affected councils and factors that promote or inhibit LC resilience are explored.


Using semi-structured interviews, the authors investigate seven Italian LCs that were severely impacted by the flood event. An interview protocol was developed and background information collected. A number of themes were drawn from the interview transcripts and relationships with the relevant literature were examined.


The findings highlight that the adoption of the concept of resilience is at an early stage in the LCs decision and policy making. The authors find that the financial resources and the external relations management with other public entities, NGOs and local communities, promote the LCs resilience during and after an EWE. By contrast, bureaucratic constraints and poor urban planning restrain resilience. The findings suggest that LCs resilience needs to be distinguished from local community resilience.


The paper contributes to the literature on public sector management and investigates the under-researched area of resilience within the context of the public sector, vis-à-vis, local government. In particular the realization that EWE are not the realm only of emergency personnel, but that local government managers have an integral role placed upon them during and especially after the EWE.



Sciulli, N., D'Onza, G. and Greco, G. (2015), "Building a resilient local council: evidence from flood disasters in Italy", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 430-448.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles