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Terry Cannon

Research Fellow

Terry Cannon has been teaching and researching in development studies for many years, and until 2009 was Reader in Development Studies at the University of Greenwich and Principal Scientist at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI at University of Greenwich). Before that, he taught rural development at the Institute for Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague. His background discipline is geography, with additional qualifications in economics and politics.

At IDS he is teaching in the MSc Climate Change, Development and Policy. He also teaches at King’s College London (on both development studies and on climate change and disaster vulnerability), in the MSc Disaster Management at University of Copenhagen and lectures annually at Free University Brussels and KU Leuven (Belgium).

His main research focus is on rural livelihoods, disaster vulnerability and climate change adaptation, especially at the local level. He has recently focused on the significance of culture in relation to risk and people’s perception of hazards and climate change. This involved being a lead editor for the Red Cross World Disasters Report 2014: Focus on Culture and Risk. He is one of the co-authors of ‘At Risk: natural hazards, people’s vulnerability and disasters’, which has become one of the most widely cited and used books in the field, and translated into Spanish, Japanese and Chinese. He is also engaged in capacity building on these issues for NGOs and UNDP in several countries, including Bangladesh and Vietnam.

Until the late 1990s Terry was also involved in research on regional development, spatial inequality and poverty in China, especially in relation to the impacts of the economic reforms.

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Connections and expertise

Member of
Rural Futures

Terry Cannon’s recent work


Rural livelihood diversification and adaptation to climate change

In the developing world, climate change is already being felt by the poorest and most vulnerable communities. As the climate becomes less predictable and extreme weather events become more frequent, there is a clear and urgent need for support that will help these communities in their efforts to...

1 January 2014