Handbook on Resilience of Socio-Technical Systems
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Handbook on Resilience of Socio-Technical Systems

Edited by Matthias Ruth and Stefan Goessling-Reisemann

The goal to improve the resilience of social systems – communities and their economies – is increasingly adopted by decision makers. This unique and comprehensive Handbook focuses on the interdependencies of these social systems and the technologies that support them. Special attention is given to the ways in which resilience is conceptualized by different disciplines, how resilience may be assessed, and how resilience strategies are implemented. Case illustrations are presented throughout to aid understanding.
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Chapter 5: Overcoming barriers to greater scientific understanding of critical infrastructure resilience

David L. Alderson


The modern study of critical infrastructure systems in the United States is now more than 20 years old. Given this significant period of time during which academia, government, and industry have studied the risk, robustness and resilience of critical infrastructure, why do things still appear to be so fragile? This chapter argues that there exist systematic barriers to greater scientific understanding of critical infrastructure that must be overcome if we are to make progress in the foreseeable future. To overcome these barriers, we offer some recommendations and indicate ongoing efforts at progress.

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