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Defining Disaster

Hardback

Defining Disaster

Disciplines and Domains

9781839100291 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Marie Aronsson-Storrier, Lecturer in Global Law and Disasters, School of Law, University of Reading, UK and Rasmus Dahlberg, Associate Professor, Institute for Strategy and War Studies, Royal Danish Defence College, Denmark
Publication Date: January 2022 ISBN: 978 1 83910 029 1 Extent: c 272 pp
This timely book unpacks the idea of ‘disaster’ from a variety of approaches, broadening understanding and improving the usability of this complex and often contested concept. Including multidisciplinary perspectives from leading and emerging scholars, it offers reflections on how the concept of disaster has been shaped by and within various fields of research, providing complementary and thought-provoking comparisons across many domains.

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Critical Acclaim
Contributors
Contents
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This timely book unpacks the idea of ‘disaster’ from a variety of approaches, broadening understanding and improving the usability of this complex and often contested concept. Including multidisciplinary perspectives from leading and emerging scholars, it offers reflections on how the concept of disaster has been shaped by and within various fields of research, providing complementary and thought-provoking comparisons across many domains.

Functioning as an important point of reference between and across disciplines, chapters explore the forces and building blocks of disaster and how these are interpreted, providing opportunities for dialogue between multiple points of view. The book concludes with a broader, integrated discussion of the aspects of disaster research covered, putting forward suggestions for further cooperation between disciplines and a future research agenda.

Defining Disaster will be a fascinating read for disaster researchers in disciplines including law, sociology, and social and public policy who wish to improve their understanding of how their work maps onto the wider field. It will also be beneficial for policy makers and practitioners in this area looking for a rounded view of contemporary cross-disciplinary research on the subject.
Critical Acclaim
‘Bringing together anthropology, geography, social work, and law, among other disciplines, this new edited book from Aronsson-Storrier and Dahlberg tackles a critical issue in an era of climate change, extreme weather events, and man-made shocks: how to define a disaster. Rather than providing easy answers, each chapter contributes a different perspective on this topic, some universal, and others quite specific. This book would serve as an ideal discussion piece for undergraduates and graduate students alike.’
– Daniel P. Aldrich, Northeastern University, US
Contributors
Contributors include: Kristoffer Albris, Natalia Andreassen, Marie Aronsson-Storrierm, Carin Björngren Cuadra, Kevin Blanchard, Nathan Clark, Rasmus Dahlberg, J.C. Gaillard, Ilan Kelman, Loïc Le Dé, Ailsa Naismith, Livhuwani Nemakonde, Rebecca Pincus, Uta Reichardt, Olivier Rubin, Ashleigh Rushton, Jazmin P. Scarlett, Sólveig Thorvaldsdóttir, Tricia Wachtendorf
Contents
Contents:

Preface xv
1 On disaster: disciplines, domains and definitions 1
Marie Aronsson-Storrier and Rasmus Dahlberg
2 Prologue: the sociology of disaster – a US perspective on
the transformational conceptualization embedded in a discipline 9
Tricia Wachtendorf

PART I DISCIPLINES
3 Disaster anthropology: vulnerability, process and meaning 30
Kristoffer Albris
4 Keep the curtains drawn! Event, process and disaster in
international law 45
Marie Aronsson-Storrier
5 Positioning social work in relation to disasters: a social
notion running along a continuum 58
Carin Björngren Cuadra
6 Defining the role of public health in disasters and
emergency management 72
Kevin Blanchard
7 Disaster in engineering and earthquake science 90
Sólveig Thorvaldsdóttir
8 Defining disaster in volcanology 107
Jazmin P. Scarlett, Ailsa Naismith and Ashleigh Rushton

PART II DOMAINS
9 Whose views matter? Navigating insiders’ and outsiders’
understanding of disasters 123
Loïc Le Dé and J.C. Gaillard
10 Drought, famine and disasters 140
Olivier Rubin
11 Defining disasters through international space governance 157
Nathan Clark
12 Disaster definitions from an Arctic perspective 176
Natalia Andreassen and Rebecca Pincus
13 Disaster movies: definitions, filmography and three analyses 194
Rasmus Dahlberg and Uta Reichardt
14 Systemic disasters: considering the whole and not
constituent parts 212
Livhuwani Nemakonde
15 Epilogue: what are disasters not? 228
Ilan Kelman

Index
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