Disaster risk reduction reconsidered

Russell, C., Gyawali, D., Linnerooth-Bayer, J., & Thompson, M. (2023). Disaster risk reduction reconsidered. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 96 e103895. 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2023.103895.

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Increasing resilience has become the favoured approach in efforts to curb the impact of disasters. It is central to the United Nations’ International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and to its Sustainable Development Goals, and it is now championed by most of the nations and civil society organisations working with hazards. But who decides what resilience looks like? We explore this question through the Nepali phrase ke garne? (what to do?). Often seen as an expression of fatalism, its true meaning is pretty much the opposite: resilience in the face of adversity. Drawing on the theory of plural rationality, we show how the proponents of Disaster Risk Reduction in Nepal, in making the invalid fatalist assumption, are bent on bestowing resilience on a social and cultural system that unbeknown to them is already, of its very nature, resilient: unnecessary at best; positively harmful at worst. This is not to say that they should not intervene; only that they need to first understand what it is that they are intervening in. And central to that understanding is the indigenous knowledge – in the case of landslides, the ethnogeomorphology – of those they have mistakenly assumed to be fatalistic.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Resilience, Disaster risk reduction, Governance, Nepal
Research Programs: Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Equity and Justice (EQU)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2023 06:17
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2023 07:23
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/18966

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