Centre for Disasters and Development


Besides natural hazards, conflicts, depletion of natural resources and forced migration and malnutrition are experienced as disasters by many communities. Interrogating the notion of a disaster, this Centre positions its academic work within the larger geo-political context and focuses on research that examines how larger processes of development, often shaped by dominant forces within developed countries impinge upon and influence the way financial support, both in the form of aid and loans by multi-lateral institutions (such as the World Bank, ADB or even the UN) has long term implications for most countries. How is development conceived or imagined? What forms of development are privileged over others? The rich diversity of people and their ways of living and being are often ignored by growth oriented, neo-liberal views of development.

Therefore moving beyond the immediate management of a disaster event, the work of this Centre contributes to developing a deeper understanding of the complex factors and development decisions that create or exacerbate existing vulnerabilities. Studies around disasters, vulnerability, marginalisation and poverty are the focus of this Centre. In engaging with governance aspects of a disaster, the significance of global governance in terms of cannot be overlooked. The Centre's critical engagement with issues of transnational governance, international institutions in disaster management and the politics of disaster relief and humanitarian aid, enriches contemporary disaster discourse.

The social and political pressures that shape disaster discourse and disaster policies, are of significance to the work envisaged within this centre. Secularisation, militarisation, privatisation of risk are concerns that the Centre seeks to address.