This webinar is part of a series of webinars organised by the SCSC with scholars from around the world. The themes of the webinars will be centered around the topic of the polarities of crisis in the global world, where crisis is simultaneously understood as an area of contestation and control. The prospective themes include “health and crisis”, “climate and crisis”, “corruption and crisis”, “universities and crisis”, gender and crisis”, and others.
In this webinar on 15 June 2021, 10-12 (CET), we explore the crisis in disasters and conflicts.
How do we understand crisis at the intersection of disasters and conflicts? Policy models for responding to disasters related to natural hazards have changed considerably in recent decades: away from reacting to disasters and towards more proactive risk reduction; and away from state-centred top-down approaches and towards involving non-state actors and communities. However, research and policy only recently started paying attention to how this works in conflict-affected settings, where more than 30% of disasters unfold. Disasters are more likely to occur in such settings because conflict intensifies vulnerability and erodes response capacities. The exacerbating effects work both ways, as disasters increase vulnerabilities and intensify the effects of conflict. However, existing disaster policy, such as the Sendai Framework for Action, does not take this into account.
Most existing research on the disaster-conflict nexus either treats conflict as a single decontextualized reality or contends that context matters so much that insights cannot be generalised. Both tendencies are of little help to practitioners and policy-makers. It is clear that best practices are not consistently applied in humanitarian action. There are many reasons for this, including political interests and inertia. But it is also related to the fact the best practices are usually too general and decontextualised.
To bridge these gaps, the ‘When Disaster Meets Conflict’ research programme, led by Dorothea Hilhorst, takes a scenario-based approach. It studies humanitarian aid and disaster governance in three conflict-affected settings: high-intensity, low-intensity and post-conflict settings. In this way, the programme generates more applicable insights and lessons for aid actors.
Chair: Ekatherina Zhukova, Researcher, Department of Political Science, Lund University, Sweden
Speaker: Dorothea Hilhorst, Professor, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Discussant: Anne-Meike Fechter, Reader in Anthropology, University of Sussex, UK.
To attend, please join the zoom event at the date and time of the webinar:
Meeting ID: 692 9059 8224