School of Geography

Disasters and Changes into Politics and Society. Contemporary Perspectives from Italy

Tuesday 1st February 2022 (12:30-13:30)
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With Giuseppe Forino, University of Nottingham.

All seminars online. Please contact for the link. Subject to change.

Part of the Environment and Society Seminar Series.


In post-disaster times, reconstruction and recovery choices can have consequences in both long and short terms upon society, economy, and organizations. These consequences include deep changes in human-environment relationships, in interactions between politics and citizenships, or in structures and procedures of organizations. It is often stated that, after a disaster, efforts should be done towards re-gaining a social, political, and organizational “normalcy”. However, disasters are inevitably “tipping points” for politics and society, that adapt to these changes and develop new, creative place-based trajectories. In this way, the time after a disaster is a conundrum of choices and decisions that navigate through and cross different political levels and everyday life of people and organizations.

I argue therefore that disasters -and the ways they are managed- lead to radical changes that are generated and persist across years and fully contribute to shape individual and collective life. I will discuss this by providing a focus on recent disasters and related recovery in Italy, based on fieldworks and evidences. There is no European society whose history and evolution has been more deeply marked by disasters than Italy, and where disasters are a litmus of the complex and fragmented society and politics at that time. These preliminary reflections will be part of the edited volume Disasters and Changes into Society and Politics: Contemporary Perspectives from Italy (Bristol University Press) that will be published in 2023.

School of Geography

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