Abstract for: Catastrophe Archetypes - Using System Dynamics to Build an Integrated Systemic Theory of Catastrophes

We propose an Integrated Systemic Theory of Catastrophes (ISTC) using System Dynamics to model and to understand common systemic structures and behaviours of catastrophes. Current catastrophe research concentrates on a specific field and does not capture complex multi-field catastrophe scenarios that cannot be reduced to a single scientific field. For example, when looking at famines the elements of the relevant feedback loops belong to different fields of science (climate, precipitation, soil conditions, population density etc.) and no single of these sciences alone can identify the systemic structure generating famines. In this paper we introduce the concept of catastrophe archetypes that function as a central element of the ISTC. Catastrophe archetypes describe systemic structures responsible for catastrophes to occur and make underlying catastrophe dynamics visible that are normally not directly seen. Within the ISTC the catastrophe archetypes will be used as diagnostic-, planning- and theory building tools to explore catastrophes systemically.