Waterveiligheid: managen van kwetsbaarheid voorbij de mythe van droge voeten : de Nederlandse omgang met overstromingsdreiging

G.C. Heems, B.L.M. Kothuis

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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This dissertation explains why flood risk is not an item in the Netherlands. After problems with rivers in 1993 and 1995, the Dutch government decided to stimulate public communication on water safety and public participation in water safety projects. This would increase the water awareness of citizens and enhance risk-conscious behaviour. Research now shows the unexpected and undesirable side-effects of this policy: indignation, apathy and loss of public trust. According to Heems and Kothuis, the ‘safety myth of dry feet’ is the cause of the failing government policy: knowing that there is no absolute guarantee, but at the same time believing that the Delta Works guarantee dry feet. Denying this widespread myth is necessary for social anchoring of the desired attitude towards water safety.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Bijker, Wiebe E., Supervisor
  • Hajer, M.A., Supervisor, External person
  • Stive, M.J.F., Supervisor, External person
Award date19 Sep 2012
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Print ISBNs9789074767002
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • water safety
  • communication
  • participation
  • safety myth

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