Rights to Govern Lives in Postdisaster Reconstruction Processes

Krishnadas, Jane
July 2008
Global Governance;Jul-Sep2008, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p347
Academic Journal
Natural disasters such as the 2004 tsunami, hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the 2006 South Asian earthquake; the postwar sites of Afghanistan and Iraq; and housing regeneration programs in the UK have allowed international institutions to increasingly gain legitimacy to participate in postdisaster governance through the language of human rights. The World Conference on Disaster Reduction (2005) promoted "people-centered governance" to reduce the violation of human rights of the poor and excluded, indicating the important relationship of rights and governance. In this article, I draw on the empirical research I conducted while living and working in villages as a relief and community development worker in the postearthquake reconstruction processes in Maharashtra India, during 1993-1997. I consider how rights legitimize, materially determine, and physically locate sites of governance in the postearthquake Maharashtra reconstruction process. I suggest that this formula of people-centered governance for understanding the relations of rights and governance is applicable to wider reconstruction processes, from postdisaster to everyday life.


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