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Conflict in the Eye of the Storm: Micro-dynamics of Natural Disasters, Cooperation and Armed Conflict
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8988-3249
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many of the most destructive natural disasters have taken place in situations characterized by armed conflict and insecurity: the Indian Ocean tsunami in Sri Lanka and Indonesia in 2004, the floods in Pakistan in 2011, the drought in Somalia in 2011 and typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013. Surprisingly little research has systematically explored how armed conflict affects natural disaster management, and how shocks from natural disaster influence conflict dynamics. This dissertation addresses these gaps by providing a qualitative and disaggregated analysis of the micro-dynamics underpinning the relationship between armed conflict, natural disasters and cooperation. It asks: what is the relationship between natural disasters and processes of conflict and cooperation in countries affected by civil conflict? To explore this question, the dissertation offers four essays that explore different facets of this relationship, focusing on the rebel group. Examining collaboration between rebel group and humanitarian actors during disaster relief efforts in the Philippines, essay I finds that rebel group behavior after a natural disaster is shaped by the level of hostility between combatant parties and the nature of the ties with the local population. Exploring the effect of natural disasters on conflict dynamics in the case of the Philippines, essay II suggests that natural disasters hinder rebel group recruitment tactics, by increasing hardship for rebel combatants and supporters, by weakening the rebel group’s organizational structure and supply lines, and by leading to a loss of territorial control. Based on a comparative case study between Colombia and the Philippines, essay III revisits ripeness theory and argues that the level of rebel group cohesion will help to predict whether or not rebel groups stay at the negotiation table until an agreement is reached. While a typhoon affected the Philippines during the negotiations, it did not “ripen” the peace talks. Finally, article IV explores pre-disaster evacuation across conflict-affected regions in the Philippines and India, and argues that both experience of previous disaster and the level of trust in government officials influence the likelihood of people evacuating. The dissertation has important implications for both disaster management and conflict resolution, and it calls for more dialogue between both disciplines.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University , 2016. , 37 p.
Series
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 107
Keyword [en]
armed conflict, natural disaster, rebel group, micro-dynamics of civil war, resilience, disaster risk reduction and management, rebel group recruitment, conflict analysis, climate change, cooperation, conflict resolution, negotiation, ripeness, the Philippines, India, Colombia.
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268341ISBN: 978-91-506-2521-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-268341DiVA: diva2:882366
Public defence
2016-02-20, Gustavianum, Akademigatan 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-01-25 Created: 2015-12-04 Last updated: 2016-01-25
List of papers
1. Collaboration or obstruction?: Rebel group behavior during natural disaster relief in the Philippines
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Collaboration or obstruction?: Rebel group behavior during natural disaster relief in the Philippines
2014 (English)In: Political Geography, ISSN 0962-6298, E-ISSN 1873-5096, Vol. 43, no SI, 40-50 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Under what conditions do rebel groups collaborate with the government in disaster relief operations? Despite the fact that many natural disasters occur in armed conflict contexts, little is known about the impact of conflict actors on natural disaster relief efforts. Affected by the same typhoon, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the New People's Army (NPA) behaved differently in the aftermath of the natural disaster. While the MILF collaborated with the government in relief efforts, the NPA did not. This article explains this variation by arguing that the level of hostility between the rebel group and the state in the pre-disaster period as well as the type of social contract that exists between the rebels and the local population shape collaboration during natural disaster relief efforts. The theoretical argument is explored through a comparative case study between these two rebel groups in the aftermath of a devastating typhoon in the Philippines in 2012.

Keyword
Natural disaster, Armed conflict, Climate change, Rebel group, Disaster management, Resilience, Philippines
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-243075 (URN)10.1016/j.polgeo.2014.09.007 (DOI)000347023800005 ()
Available from: 2015-02-09 Created: 2015-02-04 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. Weakened by the Storm: Rebel Group and Recruitment in the Wake of Natural Disasters in the Philippines
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Weakened by the Storm: Rebel Group and Recruitment in the Wake of Natural Disasters in the Philippines
(English)In: Journal of Peace Research, ISSN 0022-3433, E-ISSN 1460-3578Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-268333 (URN)
Available from: 2015-12-04 Created: 2015-12-04 Last updated: 2017-12-01
3.
The record could not be found. The reason may be that the record is no longer available or you may have typed in a wrong id in the address field.
4. Should I Stay or Should I Go? How People Respond to Evacuation Orders ahead of Natural Disasters in the Philippines and India
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Should I Stay or Should I Go? How People Respond to Evacuation Orders ahead of Natural Disasters in the Philippines and India
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Why do some people evacuate ahead of natural disasters while others do not? The question is crucial for effective natural disaster response and crisis management. The timely response to early warning alerts before Cyclone Phailin in India led to a minimal death toll despite being affected by a powerful cyclone that caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage and affected the livelihoods of 13 million people in October 2013. A month later, Typhoon Haiyan devastated the regions of Samar, Leyte and Panay in the Philippines, causing up to 8,000 fatalities. Only a minority of the population followed the warnings and evacuation orders. This paper explores the striking variation of responses between India and the Philippines by examining the importance of two main factors suggested by previous research: experience and trust. Prior experience of natural disaster increases individual perception of risk and may lead to institutional learning, but only where the experienced disaster was traumatic. Trust between citizens and public officials is held to further increase the likelihood people will evacuate in advance of natural disasters. These two interrelated factors are explored through a structured, focused comparison between the responses to Cyclone Phailin in India (Orissa) and to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (Leyte) in 2013. The data, drawn from extensive field research in India and the Philippines, combines a household survey together with 30 semi-structured interviews, and focus group discussions.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-269177 (URN)
Available from: 2015-12-14 Created: 2015-12-14 Last updated: 2015-12-14

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