The pivotal role of vulnerability in disaster risk assessment and reduction makes it a highly explored - although still blurred - concept in the scientific debate. Therefore, a better understanding of the vulnerability concept is far from an academic exercise: it is still today of paramount importance to better coping with both current and emerging risks. The paper presents a review of European and international research on vulnerability over the past twenty years. The review has been carried out in two main steps: the analysis of selected European projects focused on vulnerability issues and carried out in the last 20 years; the analysis of scientific articles published over the last 20 years all over the world, selected through a Scopus search based on the main vulnerability facets identified by the EU projects. The review aims at exploring the state-of-the-art of research studies on vulnera- bility, by pointing out the definitions given for the multiple facets of vulnerability (social, physical, etc) and its spatial, systemic, and dynamic dimensions.
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