30th Anniversary Disaster Prevention Management Virtual Issue

Disaster Prevention and Management

Disaster Prevention and Management (DPM) is 30 years old. A very respectable age for a journal in our field of scholarship. In fact, DPM stands as one of the oldest multidisciplinary journals dealing with disasters, the legacy and impacts of which have been significant for research as well as for policy and practice.

Over the past three decades, the journal has committed to publish academic articles authored by some of the most prominent scholars in our field alongside papers written by policy makers and practitioners. All have found a home in DPM and, as a result, our audience has been a distinct gathering of various readers. DPM has also long stood out for the geographical diversity of its authors and readers who hail from most regions of the world – a heritage we are very proud of.

As a tribute to this legacy, we are glad to offer the following compilation of eleven seminal papers, as defined by our editorial board; all of which are now available as free access:

The susceptibility of the vulnerable: some realities reassessed

by James Lewis

From civil defence to civil protection – and back again

by David Alexander

Statistical and conceptual problems in the study of disasters

by E.L. Quarantelli

Bridging the concepts of resilience, fragility and stabilization

by Siambabala Bernard Manyena and Stuart Gordon

Compounded loss: the post tsunami recovery experience of Indian island communities

by Manu Gupta and Anshu Sharma

Vulnerability, “innocent” disasters and the imperative of cultural understanding

by Terry Cannon

Progress, traditions and future directions in research on disasters involving slow-onset hazards

by Reidar Staupe-Delgado

“Lets talk about you …”: Opening space for local experience, action and learning in disaster risk reduction

by Terry Gibson and Ben Wisner

Linking disaster risk reduction, climate change, and the sustainable development goals

by Ilan Kelman

The Scientific Basis of Disaster Management

by S.W.A. Gunn

Lost (and found?) in translation: key terminology in disaster studies

by Ksenia Chmutina, Neil Sadler, Jason von Meding and Amer Hamad Issa Abukhalaf

These pieces are diverse in their focus, authorship, and date of publication. As such, we do not only hope to showcase the broad scope of the journal, but also its evolution through the past 30 years. If the journal was definably eclectic across the physical and social sciences up to 2010, it eventually took a critical social turn, delving more into critical theory and practice to unpack some of the main challenges our field is facing today. The subsequent selection of papers reflects such ‘social turn’ in the history of the journal.

We believe that it is now time to take this critical social turn even further. As such, we have just launched a new editorial policy that is aligned with the Disaster Studies Manifesto and Accord that most of our readers will be familiar with. This new policy will allow us to open up new spaces for publication and, as a result, to explore new approaches for understanding what we call disasters; approaches that we hope will depart from the sole Western understandings of the concept and associated field of policy and practice. In revising our editorial policy, we more particularly aim to:

  • Explore ontologies and epistemologies beyond the remit of Western scholarship (the most critical concern);
  • Diversify and intensify our grounding in (critical) theory (one of the major challenges in our field); and
  • As a result, we hope to stop reinventing the wheel and move forward (one of the main drawbacks of the past 30 years).

A series of special issues will soon materialise this new path in anticipation of a brighter future. Indeed, as D. Alexander reflected in his essay to commemorate our 25th anniversary, ‘we all wish that a journal like DPM were not necessary’. However, we know it is not yet the case.

JC Gaillard and Emmanuel Raju

Editors, Disaster Prevention and Management