Paper: The Politics of Disaster and Aid in a Divided Nation: How Natural Disasters Influence Conflict

Paper details

Paper authors Muhammad Asiful Basar
In panel on Filling the gap or filling the shoes? Civil society and political change in historical disasters
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


This study aims to investigate the dynamics of disaster politics, where the post-disaster responses of various non-state actors create a legitimacy crisis in a politically divided state and influence the transformation of conflict dynamics. The study will investigate how mega-natural disasters intensify or weaken the conflict situation and what role non-state actors play in this process. Particularly, in what situations does a large-scale natural disaster come as a shock for political transformation, especially conflict escalation, and in what situations does it come as a chillier way to pacify the conflict— this will be examined in this research. The study has identified that ‘disaster governance’ is such an important issue that it cannot be overlooked and undermined by the regular civil order, as the nature of the post-disaster conflict transformation is very much dependent on successful management of the disaster. The research further explores the interdependent relationship between ecology and politics in disaster-stricken regions. It analyzes how large-scale natural disasters can create political opportunities and "ripe moments" within a conflict situation, and how various actors such as political parties, the media, and civil society interact with post-disaster politics.