1st Edition

Why Vulnerability Still Matters The Politics of Disaster Risk Creation

Edited By Greg Bankoff, Dorothea Hilhorst Copyright 2022
    254 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    We think vulnerability still matters when considering how people are put at risk from hazards and this book shows why in a series of thematic chapters and case studies written by eminent disaster studies scholars that deal with the politics of disaster risk creation: precarity, conflict, and climate change.

    The chapters highlight different aspects of vulnerability and disaster risk creation, placing the stress rightly on what causes disasters and explaining the politics of how they are created through a combination of human interference with natural processes, the social production of vulnerability, and the neglect of response capacities. Importantly, too, the book provides a platform for many of those most prominently involved in launching disaster studies as a social discipline to reflect on developments over the past 50 years and to comment on current trends.

    The interdisciplinary and historical perspective that this book provides will appeal to scholars and practitioners at both the national and international level seeking to study, develop, and support effective social protection strategies to prevent or mitigate the effects of hazards on vulnerable populations. It will also prove an invaluable reference work for students and all those interested in the future safety of the world we live in.

    List of Illustrations

    List of Contributors

    1. Introduction: Why vulnerability still matters. Dorothea Hilhorst and Greg Bankoff
    2. Part I Why Vulnerability Still Matters

    3. Remaking the world in our own image: Vulnerability, resilience, and adaptation as historical discourses. Greg Bankoff
    4. Between precarity and the security state: A post-vulnerability view. Kenneth Hewitt
    5. Creating disaster risk and constructing gendered vulnerability. Sarah Bradshaw, Brian Linneker, and Lisa Overton
    6. What must be done to rescue the concept of vulnerability? Terry Cannon
    7. Part II Vulnerability, Conflict, and State-society Relations

    8. Disaster studies and its discontents: The postcolonial state in hazard and risk creation. Ayesha Siddiqi
    9. Humanitarianism: Navigating between resilience and vulnerability. Dorothea Hilhorst
    10. Resilience, food security, and the abandonment of crisis-affected populations. Susanne Jaspars
    11. Vulnerability and resilience in a complex and chaotic context: Evidence from Mozambique. Luís Artur
    12. Part III Disaster Risk Creation

    13. Power writ small and large: How disaster cannot be understood without reference to pushing, pulling, coercing, and seducing. Ben Wisner.
    14. Disaster risk creation: The new vulnerability. Thea Dickinson and Ian Burton
    15. Vulnerable Anthropocenes?: Towards an integrated approach. Kasia Mika and Ilan Kelman.
    16. ‘The hottest summer ever!’: Exploring vulnerability to climate change among grain producers in Eastern Norway. Bjørnar Sæther and Karen O'Brien



    Greg Bankoff works on community resilience and the way societies adapt to hazard as a frequent life experience. For the last 30 years, he has focused his research on understanding how societies, both past and present, have learnt to normalise risk and the way communities deal with crisis through a historical sociological approach. His publications include co-authoring The Red Cross’s World Disaster Report 2014: Focusing on Culture and Risk and a companion, coedited volume entitled Cultures and Disasters: Understanding Cultural Framings in Disaster Risk Reduction (2015).

    Dorothea Hilhorst focuses on aid-society relations: studying how aid is shaped by the manifold actions of actors in and around programmes for protection, service delivery and capacity development. She has a special interest in the intersections of humanitarianism with development, peacebuilding, and gender-relations. She has done extensive work on humanitarian accountability and situations where disasters meet conflict. Her research programmes have taken place in many settings affected by disaster, conflict, and fragility. Currently, her main research programme concerns changes in humanitarian governance and opportunities for accountability and advocacy, and practices of transactional sex in humanitarian crisis situations.