Global risk and local vulnerabilities: Considerations on the shaping of disasters in contemporary Global South

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 18:15
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Andrea LAMPIS, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia
Institutional structures in cities and rural areas of the Global South have been heavily influenced by neo-liberal policies for over 40 years. International and national corporative interests that operate at the local level reproducing a number of globally legitimated policy guidelines are heavily influenced by de-territorialised decision-making process. As Sassen (2014)[1] has recently observed, the concept of ‘expulsions’ of risk is increasingly produced by globally relevant logics, interests and actors against a local reality often made by fragmented governance systems.

The umbrella concept of institutional capacity (use of information, availability of sufficient resources, existence of stakeholder participation, effective legal frameworks) is most often used to analyse the effectiveness of disaster risk management. However, besides being taxonomic and normative the analytical approach that lays behind the concept is inadequate to explain why different social geographies under similar indicators of institutional capacity generate highly uneven results in terms of disaster risk management.  The goal of the paper is to reveal that both the politics and the policies related to risk management are shaped by global pressures, logics and interests that end up embedded in local institutional and social practices as much as in local culture. Disaster risk management should now be enacted not only at the local level but on another more global scale where a renewed reflection on the ethical, social justice and developmental implications is needed.

[1] Sassen, S. (2014). Expulsions: Brutality and Complexity in the Global Economy. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (MA), London (UK).