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Disasters as Conflict Triggers: A New Framework for Analysis in Conflict-Affected & Post-Conflict States

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Disasters as Conflict Triggers: A New Framework for Analysis in Conflict-Affected & Post-Conflict States

  1. 1. D ISASTERS AS C ONFLICT T RIGGERS :A N EW F RAMEWORK FOR A NALYSIS INC ONFLICT -A FFECTED & P OST -C ONFLICT S TATES
  2. 2. O VERVIEW OF P RESENTATION Discussion of literature on disasters and conflict link Disaster Diplomacy & disasters in post- conflict settings Overview of analytical framework Case Study – 2005 Pakistan Earthquake Next steps for research Conclusion
  3. 3. I NTRODUCTION Little research on link between disasters and conflict Literature in this field remains ambiguous  Some evidence linking rapid onset disasters to higher conflict risk  Little evidence to show that slow onset disasters affect conflict
  4. 4. D ISASTER D IPLOMACY ? Almost no research on effects of disasters in post-conflict states Some suggest “disaster diplomacy” effect  2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in Aceh  1999 Earthquakes in Turkey, Greece
  5. 5. D ISASTER D IPLOMACY ? Disaster diplomacy far from guaranteed  2004 Tsunami in Sri Lanka conflict  2001 Gujarat Earthquake in India Given this fact:  What are pathways connecting disasters & conflict?
  6. 6. A N EW A NALYTICAL F RAMEWORK1.) Weak State Hypothesis• Opportunity Pathway• Regime Weakness Pathway• Rebel Legitimacy Pathway2.) Disaster Politics• Inequality Pathway• Politicization of Response Pathway• Conflict (In)sensitivity of Aid Pathway3.) Disaster Economics• Opportunity Costs Pathway• Rebel Financing Pathway4.) Migration & Demographics• Sons of the Soil Pathway• Migration Disruption Pathway• Migration as Organization Pathway
  7. 7. W EAK S TATE H YPOTHESIS Disasters may expose weak ruling governments to rebellion Rebel Legitimacy Pathway  2004 Tsunami in LTTE-held areas Map overlaying % of dead or missing from 2004 tsunami and LTTE- held areas in Sri Lanka Le Billon & Waaizenegger (2007). “Peace in the wake of disaster? Secessionist conflicts and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.” pg, 416
  8. 8. D ISASTER P OLITICS Disasters are not “natural” events - inherently political & socially constructed Conflict (In)sensitivity of Aid Pathway  Aid disparities in Aceh after TsunamiDestruction in Aceh,Indonesia after IndianOcean TsunamiCourtesy of National Geographic
  9. 9. D ISASTER E CONOMICS Disasters have economic costs, opportunities Rebel Financing Pathway  Interahamwe extorted UN refugee aid after Rwandan genocide Refugee camp for Hutus who fled into eastern DRC in 1994
  10. 10. M IGRATION & D EMOGRAPHICS Disasters can lead to large-scale population movements, affect demographics 1. Sons of the Soil Pathway 2. Migration Disruption 3. Migration as Organization
  11. 11. D ISPLACEMENT A FTER K ATRINA
  12. 12. M IGRATION & D EMOGRAPHICS Disasters can lead to large-scale population movements, affect demographics Migration as Organization pathway  Burmese junta response to Cyclone Nargis Cyclone Nargis affected areas Courtesy of ReliefWeb
  13. 13. 2005 PAKISTAN E ARTHQUAKE  October 5, 2005: 7.6 magnitude earthquake  Affected 28,000km in Azad Jammu Kashmir & North West Frontier Province  Kills 73,338 people, seriously injures 73,000
  14. 14. 2005 PAKISTAN E ARTHQUAKE Majority of damage done to housing, public buildings  Damage to schools killed 18,000 children  “the disaster that wiped out a generation of children” in Pakistan Government completely unprepared for disaster of this magnitude
  15. 15. U SING D ISASTER -C ONFLICTF RAMEWORK FOR E ARTHQUAKE Earthquake response effort has clear conflict dynamics Relevant pathways from framework:  Rebel Legitimacy  Conflict (In)sensitivity of Aid  Migration as Organization
  16. 16. R EBEL L EGITIMACY  Pakistani government slow to respond  First step was reinforcing Line of Control  Militant organizations filled this gap  Saw response asEarthquake victims receive food from Jamaat- opportunity to winud-Dawa, front group for Lashkar-e-Taiba hearts & minds  17 banned groups played role in response
  17. 17. C ONFLICT I N ( SENSITIVITY ) OF A ID Humanitarians used to working in weak states  Had little experience in Pakistan, did not understand political context Organizations work directly with military regime, bypass civil society
  18. 18. D ISASTER D IPLOMACY Post-disaster changes largely path- dependent  Disasters can help catalyze existing diplomacy, cannot create it Leaders must push diplomacy, but cannot get ahead of constituents  Non-disaster issues often dominate, undermine diplomacy potential Need action by actors across scales on both sides of conflict
  19. 19. M IGRATION AS O RGANIZATION Earthquake left 2.8 million Pakistanis homeless Aid only provided to official IDP camps Islamist groups took advantage of this decision
  20. 20. R ESEARCH N EXT S TEPS Conducting surveys, interviews with practitioners and researchers Demonstrate how conflict affected earthquake vulnerability in Pakistan Trace connections between peacebuilding & disaster risk reduction (DRR) Pressure and Release (PAR) Model of disasters, from Blaikie et al (1994)
  21. 21. C ONCLUSION Research on disasters & conflict ambiguous, doesn’t focus on post-conflict states New framework traces 4 mechanisms, 11 possible pathways Response to Pakistan Earthquake showed multiple pathways at work Links between disasters & conflict suggests need to address both simultaneously
  22. 22. THANK YOU QUESTIONS? Tim KovachMA Candidate, Global Environmental Policy timothy.kovach@american.edu

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