Violent Conflicts and natural disasters: The growing case for Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue

Elisabeth King, John C. Mutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Comparisons between disasters and violent conflicts are often noted by political figures and in the news media, and those responding to conflicts and disasters witness similarities on the ground. In contrast, the academic fields studying violent conflicts and so-called natural disasters have developed separately and practitioners usually separate the two phenomena as soon as the emergency response is over. This paper, based on interviews with practitioners and a review of scholarly literature, makes a case for increased cross-disciplinary dialogue. We identify common consequences, responses and even causes of conflicts and disasters. We argue that more and better partnerships between those who work on conflicts and those who work on disasters can lead to advances in understanding and responding to conflicts and disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1255
Number of pages17
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 9 2014


  • Climate change
  • Conflict
  • Disaster
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Humanitarian
  • Peace building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development


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