Disaster Risk Governance: Evolution and Influences

Samantha Jones, Bernard Manyena, Sara Walsh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Disaster risk reduction represents a shift in the paradigm of disaster management from ‘response and recovery’ to ‘prevention and preparedness’. International organisations have been key players in advancing this agenda. This chapter seeks to explore the challenging nature of contemporary disaster risk governance endeavours, which are intricately linked to the neoliberal agenda of ‘hollowing out’ state functions. Under this agenda there has become a reduced role for the state and an opening of the governing arena to a wider multitude of non-state actors. This chapter discusses three dimensions to the changing distribution of influence and responsibility in disaster risk governance. First, is the ‘upwards’ dimension, wherein governments are becoming more accountable to global institutions. Second, the ‘outward’ or mainstreaming disaster risk reduction agenda requires sectors to integrate disaster and development into their activities to develop better prevention and preparedness. Third, the ‘downward’ or decentralisation of disaster risk governance arguably, enables local communities to formulate realistic and implementable prevention, preparedness, response and recovery plans. In this complex and changing governance landscape of disaster risk reduction, as the neo-liberal state is hollowed out and responsibilities are reoriented upwards, outwards and downwards, the question arises: ‘who really governs DRR?’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHazards, Risks and Disasters in Society
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)9780123964519
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2014


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