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Call for Papers - Sociotechnical perspectives to infrastructure resilience

Guest Editors:

Aaron Clark-Ginsberg: Behavioral/Social Scientist RAND Corporation ( 
Ji Yun Lee: Assistant Professor Washington State University (

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 30 October 2023

Journal of Infrastructure Preservation and Resilience is calling for submissions to our collection: Sociotechnical perspectives to infrastructure resilience.

Infrastructure system resilience – the ability of infrastructure to maintain essential services by absorbing and/or recovering from shocks and stresses – is a sociotechnical property, contingent on the technical components of an infrastructure system, as well as underlying social processes and modes of organization and finance. It is also networked, contingent not just on the ability of a single organization or provider, but on the sets of organizations that come together as a system to collectively provide key services.

Work on sociotechnical resilience of infrastructure systems is to date relatively nascent. Despite a need for infrastructure to be well engineered and maintained, research that bridges natural, technical, and social science remains rare. Moreover, research that explores resilience from this systems perspective is also lacking, instead focusing on single firms or components not the more distended sets of systems that make up the infrastructure.

The purpose of this special issue is to lay the groundwork for advanced thinking and understanding on sociotechnical approaches to infrastructure and contribute to transforming infrastructure networks from spaces of fragility to those of resilience. To that end the journal welcomes articles and commentaries from researchers and policymakers working to assess and enhance the resilience of infrastructure systems –such as power grid, water supply network, supply chain system, and telecommunication/cyber infrastructures, and health infrastructure – through sociotechnical approaches. Specific questions focus on methods for researching sociotechnical systems, as well as sociotechnical related research and models

About the collection

Topics of interest (not limited to):

• What are the generic or common components of sociotechnical resilience that can be seen across infrastructures (health, transportation, energy, etc.)?
• How can typical/atypical hazards cascade across other infrastructure, economic, and/or social systems? 
• How can such cascading impact be modeled conceptually, theoretically, or empirically? 
• How can we incorporate community differences such as differential vulnerability, exposure and capacity into sociotechnical infrastructure resilience?
• How can the networked nature of infrastructure resilience be accounted for? 
• How does infrastructure function as more than a sum of its parts? 
• How are infrastructures made reliable by more than the sum of their parts?
• What mechanisms can facilitate infrastructure resilience to the atypical hazards that infrastructure systems are increasingly facing, such as cyber-attacks, supply chain disruptions, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? 
• How can knowledge from engineering and social science be combined to improve infrastructure resilience? 
• How can researchers and practitioners work together to translate research to practice and vice versa?
• How can we truly transform how we manage infrastructure, moving beyond current modes of operation that fail to reduce or even increase risk to approaches that are truly resilient? 
• What sort of research or policy environment is needed to advance sociotechnical approaches to resilience?

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  1. Disruptions to key lifelines, especially electrical power, can cause outsized impacts on human functioning. The state of the art on developed countries has focused on enhancing resilience to electrical grid in...

    Authors: Daniel Thompson and Gianluca Pescaroli
    Citation: Journal of Infrastructure Preservation and Resilience 2023 4:11
  2. As the backbone and the ‘blood vessel’ of modern cities, road networks provide critical support for community activities and economic growth, with their roles even more crucial due to the dramatic progress in ...

    Authors: Xudong Fan, Xijin Zhang, Xiaowei Wang and Xiong Yu
    Citation: Journal of Infrastructure Preservation and Resilience 2023 4:8

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of Research Articles. Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have read our submission guidelines. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system SNAPP. During the submission process, under the section additional information, you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Sociotechnical Perspectives to Infrastructure Resilience" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Guest Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Guest Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.