oa Jamba : Journal of Disaster Risk Studies - Editorial

Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1996-1421
  • E-ISSN: 2072-845X



When O'Keefe, Wisner and Westgate (1976) in their now seminal article wanted to "take the naturalness out of natural disasters" the response from the broader academic and development communities was not very positive. How could you prevent something that was inevitable or an act of God? In essence these three authors argued that "natural" disasters had more to do with socio-economic factors than with nature. Upon brief perusal of more recent disasters literature it should be quite clear that this line of thinking has indeed become the dominant perspective on disasters. In the light of increased losses to events, brought on by a variety of different complex factors such as increases in poverty, population movements and global changes in the environment, researchers and practitioners have paid a significant amount of attention to disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

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