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Disaster diplomacy investigates how and why disaster-related activities do and do not influence conflict and cooperation.
For details, see:
The evidence from disaster diplomacy studies suggests that disaster-related activities do not create fresh diplomatic opportunities, but that they have the possibility for catalysing diplomatic action, although this possibility is not always fulfilled. This conclusion applies to all disaster-related activities, including before a disaster (disaster risk reduction, including prevention, planning, adaptation, mitigation, readiness, and preparedness), during a disaster (response), and after a disaster (recovery and reconstruction). The three principal outcomes from disaster diplomacy work so far are:
Overall, these three points state the political truism that disaster-related activities are not usually a high priority.
Disaster diplomacy examines the role of disaster-related activities in all forms of conflicts with any parties at any space, time, and governance scales, not just in international affairs and international relations and not just governments. As such, a wide definition of "diplomacy" is used. Disaster diplomacy also embraces a wide definition of "disaster", not just involving rapid-onset phenomena such as earthquakes and explosions, but also involving trends, variabilities, and cycles which are more diffuse in space and time. Examples are droughts, epidemics, El Niño, and wider, longer-term changes. The latter label encompasses other terms including "chronic disasters", "creeping changes", and "disaster conditions".
Disaster diplomacy projects, ideas, extensions, and spin-offs are found under case studies and projects & ideas. Guises of disaster diplomacy appearing in the literature and media include "drought diplomacy", "earthquake diplomacy", "health diplomacy", "tsunami diplomacy", "vaccine diplomacy", and "volcano diplomacy".
The case studies detail ongoing work based on specific disaster diplomacy instances or potential.
Further investigations including the projects & ideas contribute to determining how all vulnerability-, risk-, hazard-, and disaster-related activities could assist in diplomatic efforts, international relations, international affairs, human rights, conflict reduction, conflict resolution, environmental management, and sustainability. Possible spin-off phrases are "risk diplomacy" and "vulnerability diplomacy". Disaster should not be desired, but attempts to extract as many positive aspects as possible from a difficult situation should be made, especially since those positive aspects can and should reduce vulnerability and contribute to disaster risk reduction.
These ideas and their continuing development are detailed in academic publications and, amongst others, the following popular science publications:
For more publications, see Ilan Kelman's disaster diplomacy publications website.
The material on the disaster diplomacy website is provided as only an information source. Neither definitive advice nor recommendations are implied. Each person or organisation accessing the website is responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed and are strongly advised to verify all information. No liability will be accepted for loss or damage incurred as a result of using the material on this website. The appearance of external links on this website does not constitute endorsement of the organisations, information, products, or services contained on that external website.