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140064 SE VM5 / VM3 - International history and politics of disaster (2018S)

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Achtung Raumwechsel!

Friday 09.03. 13:00 - 15:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Friday 16.03. 13:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Friday 23.03. 13:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Friday 13.04. 13:00 - 17:00 Inst. f. Afrikawissenschaften, Seminarraum 1 UniCampus Hof 5 2M-O1-03
Friday 20.04. 13:00 - 17:00 Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Friday 25.05. 13:00 - 17:00 (ehem. Seminarraum Internationale Entwicklung Afrikawissenschaften UniCampus Hof 5 2Q-EG-05)


Aims, contents and method of the course

This course explores the international, transnational, and global dimensions of disaster.

The first dimension is a result of the transnational nature of disasters: nuclear clouds, volcanic eruptions or locust invasions do not stop at national borders and some may have global climatic, sanitary or environmental consequences. Hence, this may require collaboration between state and non-state actors of friendly as well as hostile states.

The second dimension concerns the phenomenon of international disaster assistance and cooperation, both of which have evolved significantly over the course of the 20th century. The moral responsibility of governments to come to the aid of its own citizens - and later of the citizens of other states - has only slowly materialized over the past two centuries. An emerging transnational civil society, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, scientific and technical organizations, international finance institutions, academia, media and private persons have also become players in what could be described as an 'international governance' of disaster. They all contribute to the creation of disaster management as an international concern, which shares issues with international law, development, insurance, humanitarianism, the natural and social sciences or engineering

Assessment and permitted materials

Term paper, group presentation, individual critical presentation based on a reading, attendance and participation

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Term paper (40%)
Group presentation (30%)
Individual critical presentation based on a reading (20%)
Attendance and participation (10%)

Examination topics

Causes of disaster, disaster diplomacy, international disaster governance, disaster risk reduction, disaster and inequality, disaster and development

Reading list

Attina, Fulvio, ed. Politics and Policies of Relief, Aid and Reconstruction: Contrasting Approaches. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
Bankoff, Greg, Georg Frerks, and Thea Hilhorst, eds. Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development, and People. Sterling: Earthscan Publications, 2004.
Hannigan, John. Disasters without Borders: The International Politics of Natural Disasters. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012.
Janku, Andrea, Gerrit J. Schenk, and Franz Mauelshagen, eds. Historical Disasters in Context: Science, Religion, and Politics. New York: Routledge, 2012.
Lebovic, Nitzan, and Andreas Killen, eds. Catastrophes: A History and Theory of an Operative Concept. Oldenbourg: De Gruyter, 2014.
Revet, Sandrine, Julien Langumier. Governing Disasters: Beyond Risk Culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 2015 (also available in French).

Association in the course directory

VM5 / VM1

Last modified: We 21.04.2021 13:31