Radical Resilience

Encountering Flood Policies, Knowledge Formations and Climate Transformation Processes in Ho Chi Minh City

(2022 - today)


Coastal cities such as Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam are particularly affected by climate change due to flooding and rising sea levels. In view of future threat scenarios, resilient policies are the new key element of urban policy. They aim to strengthen a city's adaptive capacity to climate shocks, but often disregard existing resilience practices ‘on the ground’. At the same time, international ‘political templates’ for flood protection measures that provide a certain body of knowledge about how best to deal with floods are often unreflectively implemented at the national level.


Anthropological studies have pointed out this disparity between policy, local practice, and ‘travelling’ knowledge, but there only are few ethnographic studies in Southeast Asian cities – and none for Vietnam – that examine the linkages in regard to climate-related transformation processes in cities. In this context, the project aims to understand the multiple connections between local practices of flood control, the power of knowledge productions and inscribed heteronormative worldviews, and flood policy in Vietnamese coastal regions.