Institutional change, climate risk, and rural vulnerability: Cases from Central Mexico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

294 Scopus citations


A multiscalar, multistressor assessment of rural vulnerability is presented, illustrating how globalization, market liberalization, and climatic risk simultaneously structure the livelihood strategies of Mexican smallholders. Ethnographic data collected in three communities are used to argue that farmers' capacities to manage climatic risk are circumscribed by the ways in which they are able to negotiate changes in agricultural policy. Four livelihood strategies are explored in detail to show that market integration does not necessarily improve risk management capacity, and that subsistence maize production - while highly sensitive to hazards - may actually serve to enhance livelihood stability. The dominance of economic uncertainty over environmental risk in households' decision making implies a continued role for government intervention to help households adapt to climatic stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1923-1938
Number of pages16
JournalWorld Development
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptation
  • Globalization
  • Latin America
  • Mexico
  • Neoliberalism
  • Vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Institutional change, climate risk, and rural vulnerability: Cases from Central Mexico'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this