International Order and the Politics of Disaster  book cover
1st Edition

International Order and the Politics of Disaster

ISBN 9780429259272
Published September 2, 2019 by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

In this indispensable and comprehensive text, Scott D. Watson critically examines the current understanding of international order that underpins international disaster management and disaster diplomacy.

Based on empirical analysis of the three international disaster management regimes - disaster relief, disaster risk reduction, and disaster migration - and case studies of disaster diplomacy in the United States, Egypt and China, Watson argues that international disaster management and disaster diplomacy are not simply efforts to reduce the impact of disasters or to manage bilateral relations but to reinforce key beliefs about the larger international order. Challenging the conventional understandings of disasters as natural, as exogenous shocks, or as unintended and accidental outcomes of the current order, this text shows how the ideological foundations of the current heterogenous international order produce recurrent disasters.

International Order and the Politics of Disaster is a vital source for undergraduate or graduate students interested in international responses to disasters and complex humanitarian emergencies, forced migration and displacement, as well as climate change and development.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Ideological Foundations of International Order

Section 1: International Disaster Management Regimes: Relief, Risk Reduction, and Migration

3. The International Disaster Relief Regime

4. Disaster Risk Reduction

5. Disaster Displacement and Migration

Section 2: Disaster Diplomacy and Relief in Practice

6. The United States and Hurricane Katrina

7. Egypt and the Cairo Earthquake

8. China and Change in International Order


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Scott D. Watson is associate professor of International Relations and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of British Columbia (2006) and is the author of The Securitisation of Humanitarian Migration (Routledge, 2009).


"Watson provides an erudite and revealing analysis on international disaster management by sensitizing us to the politics of disasters, the constitutive power of the international order and its complex casual relation with disaster management. Impeccably researched and clearly written, this book is a must read for undergraduates as well as the seasoned academic."Simon Hollis, Swedish Defence University