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Disaster Politics

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Read the ‘Note from the Editors

(Vol 28 No 2)
Disaster Politics

At noon on 25 April 2015, within just ten seconds, an earthquake shifted Kathmandu Valley five feet to the south, together with all its people and houses, temples and trees. Beyond the natural processes underlying such disasters, there are human factors, in the form of political and economic structures, which determine their impact. Nature’s fury is often seen as a great equaliser, but disasters have a disproportionate effect on the marginalised, as was evident from the 2015 Nepal earthquake. And the processes of rehabilitation and reconstruction often become occasions for social, economic and ecological transformations.

In this quarterly, we seek to unpack post-disaster politics – a complex web of policy-making, economic and political shifts, and foreign aid commitments and conditionalities, among others. By analysing a wide range of events across the region, we hope to understand not only how natural disasters have shaped what Southasia is today, but also come to grips with how they might affect its future. (Read ‘Note from the Editors’)

Articles include:

Edward Simpson and Michele Serafini on the neoliberal consolidation in Gujarat following the 2001 earthquake

Naomi Hossain on the role of natural disasters in shaping Bangladesh’s history

Roger Bilham on the science behind earthquakes in the Himalaya

Deepak Adhikari on the Nepali state’s emergency response to the April 2015 earthquake

Pamela Philipose looks at the Indian state’s regional ambitions through aid politics

Nityanand Jayaraman on the post-tsunami transformation of Tamil Nadu’s coastline

Kalinga Tudor Silva on the varied impact of disasters across classes and ethnicities in Sri Lanka


Infographics on disasters in Southasia

Nepal Photo Project’s photo feature on the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake

Lalon Sander and Naushad Ali Husein’s reportage on the Sundarban oil spill

Gaurav Deka’s new short story ‘Before the light’

Haidar Shahbaz reviews Mirza Athar Baig’s a surrealist Urdu novel Hasan Ki Surat-e-haal

Laxmi Murthy reviews Rokheya Sakhawat Hossain’s feminist utopian novel Sultana’s Dream


Also, check our web-exclusive package that complements this issue. You can get more updates by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

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The digital version of the issue will soon be available for purchase and shipping of the print quarterlies will begin in mid-August. You can find the issue in bookstores by late August 2015. You can also get the subscription to Himal here. Do check this page (and our Facebook and Twitter profiles) to get the latest updates!


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