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The Impact on Disaster Governance of the Intersection of Environmental Hazards, Border Conflict and Disaster Responses in Ladakh, India

Field, J; Kelman, I; (2018) The Impact on Disaster Governance of the Intersection of Environmental Hazards, Border Conflict and Disaster Responses in Ladakh, India. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction , 31 pp. 650-658. 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.07.001. Green open access

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Abstract

The Indian border region of Ladakh, in Jammu and Kashmir State, has a sensitive Himalayan ecosystem and has experienced natural hazards and disasters of varying scales over the decades. Ladakh is also situated on a fault-line of multiple tensions, including ongoing border disagreements and intermittent conflict with China and Pakistan. The Indian army has thus become a permanent fixture in the region. This paper examines the implications of the intersection of these environmental and security factors for disaster governance in the region. Using Social Domains theory, the paper argues first, that a hazard-centred paradigm of ‘universal’ disaster science emerges from the colonial period, which has continued to dominate disaster management in the region today. Secondly, it argues that, as the border military complex expanded significantly in Ladakh from independence in 1947 and the region faced a number of conflicts, disaster governance has been additionally shaped by national security priorities. The paper then examines the impacts of that hazard-centred, military-led disaster governance for the population of Ladakh. These include: a relief-orientated disaster management approach, reduced civil society presence and capacity in the region, and limited local ownership of disaster risk reduction activities. This case study provides important insight into why disaster risk reduction has been slow or absent in conflict zones.

Type: Article
Title: The Impact on Disaster Governance of the Intersection of Environmental Hazards, Border Conflict and Disaster Responses in Ladakh, India
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.07.001
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.07.001
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Hazards, Disaster Governance, Ladakh, Social Domains, Military, Securitisation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Inst for Risk and Disaster Reduction
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10052327
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