Parution de l’ouvrage – Underwater. Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States de Rebecca Elliott

Underwater

Parution de l’ouvrage Underwater. Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States de Rebecca Elliott chez Columbia University Press

Table des matières: 

Acknowledgments
Timeline of Events
Introduction: Insurance and the Problem of Loss in a Climate-Changed United States
1. Transforming the Management of Loss: The Origins of the National Flood Insurance Program
2. Losing Ground: Values at Risk in an American Floodplain
3. Visions of Loss: Knowing and Pricing Flood Risk
4. Shifting Responsibilities for Loss: National Reform of Flood Insurance
5. Floodplain Futures: Trajectories of Loss
Conclusion: What Do We Have to Lose?
Methodological Appendix
Notes
Index
 
Rebecca Elliott is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
 

“Rebecca Elliott narrates the history of the individualization of risk through an unlikely lens: the de-mutualization of flood insurance in the United States. As rising global temperatures wreak havoc on the climate, those living in the path of storms are increasingly left to deal with the consequences on their own. This is a rich and deeply human story about people and organizations going underwater, learning to make sense of loss and to become ‘resilient’—until the next wave.” Marion Fourcade, author of Economists and Societies: Discipline and Profession in the United States, Britain, and France, 1890s to 1990s

“Underwater is a masterpiece of social and historical analysis, revealing the increasingly powerful and contested role of the insurance industry—through its rationalities, technologies, and moral economy—in an age of climate crisis. It opens on the impossible decision so many of us facing climate-driven catastrophes in the places we live must now make: to retreat or to remain. As Elliot shows in incisive, often painful detail, these decisions force us to reckon with multiple forms of loss—some measured in our ties to buildings, communities, landscapes, and ways of life, others in the dollar amounts of our insurance coverage and housing investments. These vital reckonings, meanwhile, differ depending on where we live, whether we own our homes, and how ‘deserving’ we are perceived to be—all variables profoundly shaped by race and class. Elliott compellingly situates these struggles within an emergent ‘politics of loss’—itself the flip-side of ever more inadequate politics of sustainability. Disparities and precarities driven both by policy and escalating hazard have ushered in an engaged, often enraged ‘climate public,’ and wrought havoc in the insurance industry itself. Through this brilliant, moving, and elegantly written analysis, we see a space opening for radical reimagining. What if we reject the devolution of risk and individualizing logics of insurance and housing markets, and recognize our collective interdependence? Elliott leaves us with a crucial understanding: there can be no safer ground if we go it alone.” Miriam Greenberg, coauthor of Crisis Cities: Disaster and Redevelopment in New York and New Orleans

“In this lucidly written and brilliantly argued book, Rebecca Elliott takes us from the flooded basements of victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York—and we could add the West Coast aflame as I write—to a powerful cultural conflict standing between us and an urgently needed fix. Flood insurance. Premium costs. Risk classification. Zoning. Building standards. Buried in the ‘administrative decisions’ within each realm are momentous questions. Should the government step out and leave owners with deeply devalued homes, ‘free’ to rebuild at their own risk? Or, on the other hand, should the government bear the cost of climate denial when financial obligations spike high and flames and floods are upon us? This is a highly important book arriving at a crucial hour. Read it and pass it on.” Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, a finalist for the National Book Award

“Underwater is a tragically timely, subtly scary, and completely essential book about living with loss in a climate-changed world. Elliott brings a sophisticated sociological perspective and a compassionate ethnographic eye to debates over how we protect ourselves and our neighbors as the ground shifts beneath our feet. A major contribution.” Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life

“Underwater explores how Americans directly affected by storms like Hurricane Sandy have been forced to confront the impact climate change has on their homes, families, and communities. This path-breaking study shows that the terrain of these discussions, centered on struggles over arcane issues like insurance and flood maps, raises deeply political and moral questions about who should pay for and be responsible for the impacts of what will certainly be steadily worsening events.” Neil Fligstein, University of California, Berkeley


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