Natural Disasters and Development: In a Globalizing World

By Mark Pelling | Go to book overview

15

Emerging concerns

Mark Pelling

Introduction

This conclusion has two tasks. First, to summarize the principal findings of the volume's chapters. Second, to draw out those overarching issues raised by the contributors that might point the way towards future research and policy agendas.


Disaster amidst 'glocalization'

Swyngedouw (1997) argued that contemporary development processes occur simultaneously at global and local scales, and that it is the interaction of global flows with local context that shapes history. For disaster mitigation and response the implication of this is that work must be undertaken at both the global and local levels and with intervening dynamic processes (Blaikie et al. 1994). By bringing together authors with expertise at the global and local scales, and with insights on the linkages that channel their interaction, this book has sought to make a contribution to debates on the interaction of the broad patterns of global socio-ecological change and the place- and time-bound status of specific disaster-development relationships. The chapters were arranged in three sections dealing in turn with global, international and local issues, and are summarized below.

The chapters in Part II (especially Wisner, and Adger and Brooks) made some progress in outlining the fundamental contours of the relationship between disaster risk and vulnerability as part of development patterns under the globalization of capital, Western-style democracy and global environmental change. Fordham, reminded us of the social diversity that should be considered, even when examining risk processes at a global scale, by critiquing the dominant orientation of disaster and development discourse from a feminist perspective. Etkin and Dore applied this basic knowledge and asked how it might be possible to identify the capacity of societies to cope with environmental risk in this era of rapid global change.

In Part III, contributors moved from an examination of global processes and trends to looking at the actors involved in shaping international dialogue

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