File(s) under permanent embargo

Reason: Publisher requirement. Embargo date will be amended following publication.

‘Building back better’ is neoliberal post-disaster reconstruction

journal contribution
posted on 18.06.2021, 07:48 by Wesley Webb Cheek, Ksenia ChmutinaKsenia Chmutina
Building Back Better has become one of the most common slogans in Disaster Risk Reduction. Disasters offer an opportunity to encourage improvements not only in the structural safety of buildings and infrastructure but also in addressing structural inequalities and injustice – i.e., the root causes of disasters. Disasters are thus an opportunity to make things better. However, as this paper will demonstrate, in the context of neoliberalism, the definition of ‘better’ in the DRR slogan does not always mean ‘good for all’. By exploring the parallel developments in the evolution of DRR and neoliberalism, we argue that BBB and its calls for rebuilding the economy, infrastructure, and revitalization of human resources, allows for widely varied definitions of what is and what isn’t a risk, who is and isn’t responsible, and what forms of action are to be taken in response to these risks. This serves as a designation for capacity to make ‘better’ – but not actively change – social and political systems that create risk in the first place. We therefore show that disasters –and the terminology used in disaster discourse – are not ideologically neutral and should thus be deliberately unpacked and critically evaluated rather than accepted unquestioned.

History

School

  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Disasters

Publisher

Wiley

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Cheek, W.W. and Chmutina, K. (2021), ‘Building Back Better’ is Neoliberal Post-Disaster Reconstruction.. Disasters, doi:10.1111/disa.12502, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/disa.12502. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

Acceptance date

13/06/2021

Publication date

2021-07-26

ISSN

0361-3666

eISSN

1467-7717

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Ksenia Chmutina. Deposit date: 17 June 2021

Usage metrics

Categories

Exports