Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Political Economy of Disaster Vulnerability: A Case Study of Pakistan Earthquake 2005

Yasir, Agha (2009): The Political Economy of Disaster Vulnerability: A Case Study of Pakistan Earthquake 2005.

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Abstract

Literature on natural hazards typically perceives disasters to be acts of God (or nature) while restricting the examination of their causes to biophysical and geographical explanations. This paper takes a different approach; first, it argues that disasters are socially constructed and, second, it situates the interactions of large-scale natural forces with local political-economic conditions within the context of vulnerability to contend that disasters are consequences of unresolved development challenges. Using the Pressure and Release (PAR) Model the paper suggests the usefulness of the concept of vulnerability that shapes local geographies of risk and weak institutions which transform and enhance the negative impacts of ‘natural’ hazards into ‘man-made’ disasters.

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