Terry Cannon

Terry Cannon

Emeritus 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.

Google Scholar



The Political Economy of Climate-Compatible Development

This project is based on the contention that understanding and working with the prevailing political economy is crucial to change the understanding and commitment of decision makers, to improve coordination, collaboration and mobilisation amongst key stakeholders, and to strengthen the...


Strengthening Climate Resilience

Strengthening Climate Resilience has created the Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management Approach (CSDRM) for disaster risk managers, policy-makers and researchers. The CSDRM approach incorporates climate change resilience into the way we plan for, and respond to, natural disasters impacting...



Obituary: Saleemul Huq, a passionate voice for climate justice

The recent sudden death of Saleemul Huq on 28 October 2023 has shocked and saddened thousands of people who were touched by his zeal, kindness, generosity of spirit and gentle humour. All have been inspired by his vision and deep commitment to making the world a better place. His work and...

Terry Cannon
Terry Cannon & 4 others

2 November 2023


Terry Cannon’s recent work



Cities have a distinctive role in development processes: they are focal points for economic growth, jobs and innovation but also for poverty, inequality, vulnerability and conflict. Although we can learn from historical processes of urbanisation, there are many new development elements...