Disaster Risk Reduction and the Development Narrative: Towards a New Public Policy Epistemic in The Future of the Policy Sciences
Chapter in a Book
The emergent paradigm of disaster risk reduction (DRR) invites scrutiny with reference to problem definition and epistemics. We argue that DRR is the next manifestation of the long-dominant ‘development’ paradigm. This chapter first interrogates the epistemic foundations of public policy as a practiced and studied discipline, exploring how wicked problems like disaster risk are refracted though the kaleidoscope of socio- political context. We then argue that the flawed assumptions and perspectives of the development narrative are reproduced within DRR by a power-knowledge nexus that fortifies the status-quo while fashioning the image of progress through performative and quasi-participatory mechanisms. We conclude with a recommendation to reframe the epistemics of policymaking around a transmodern approach that sees nuance and fluidity in how problems are conceptualized. The study suggests a pathway for policy sciences scholarship that examines how dominant social or economic paradigms (e.g., capitalism) underlying policy thinking survive through multiple narrative reframings.
Kuecker, Glen David and Kris Hartley. 2021. “Disaster Risk Reduction and the Development Narrative: Towards a New Public Policy Epistemic.” In The Future of the Policy Sciences. Edited by Anis Brik and Leslie Pal, pp. 85–102. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781800376489.00013