The making of India's COVID-19 disaster: A Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Assemblage analysis

McGowran, Peter, Johns, Hannah, Raju, Emmanuel and Ayeb-Karlsson, Sonja, (2023). The making of India's COVID-19 disaster: A Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Assemblage analysis. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 93 1-14

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author McGowran, Peter
    Johns, Hannah
    Raju, Emmanuel
    Ayeb-Karlsson, Sonja
    Title The making of India's COVID-19 disaster: A Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Assemblage analysis
    Appearing in International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
    Volume 93
    Publication Date 2023-06
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier Ltd.
    Start page 1
    End page 14
    Language eng
    Abstract This article analyses the suite of policies and measures enacted by the Indian Union Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic through apparatuses of disaster management. We focus on the period from the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, until mid-2021. This holistic review adopts a Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Assemblage conceptual approach to make sense of how the COVID-19 disaster was made possible and importantly how it was responded to, managed, exacerbated, and experienced as it continued to emerge. This approach is grounded in literature from critical disaster studies and geography. The analysis also draws on a wide range of other disciplines, ranging from epidemiology to anthropology and political science, as well as grey literature, newspaper reports, and official policy documents. The article is structured into three sections that investigate in turn and at different junctures the role of governmentality and disaster politics; scientific knowledge and expert advice, and socially and spatially differentiated disaster vulnerabilities in shaping the COVID-19 disaster in India. We put forward two main arguments on the basis of the literature reviewed. One is that both the impacts of the virus spread and the lockdown-responses to it affected already marginalised groups disproportionately. The other is that managing the COVID-19 pandemic through disaster management assemblage/apparatuses served to extend centralised executive authority in India. These two processes are demonstrated to be continuations of pre-pandemic trends. We conclude that evidence of a paradigm shift in India's approach to disaster management remains thin on the ground.
    UNBIS Thesaurus INDIA
    Keyword COVID-19
    Disaster risk management
    Disaster risk governance
    Assemblage theory
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2023
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2023.103797
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    Created: Thu, 22 Jun 2023, 22:30:47 JST by Aarti Basnyat on behalf of UNU EHS