Original Research - Special Collection: Framing and modelling disaster risk

Forensic investigations of disasters: Past achievements and new directions

Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, Ian Burton, Allan Lavell, Anthony Oliver-Smith, Alonso Brenes, Thea Dickinson
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 15, No 1 | a1490 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v15i1.1490 | © 2023 Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, Ian Burton, Allan Lavell, Anthony Oliver-Smith, Alonso Brenes, Thea Dickinson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 February 2023 | Published: 15 September 2023

About the author(s)

Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, Institute of Geography, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico City, Mexico
Ian Burton, Faculty of Geography and Planning, School of the Environment, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Allan Lavell, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, San José, Costa Rica
Anthony Oliver-Smith, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States
Alonso Brenes, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences, San José, Costa Rica
Thea Dickinson, Dickinson and Associates, Toronto, Canada

Abstract

In the 2020s, understanding disaster risk requires a strong and clear recognition of values and goals that influence the use of political and economic power and social authority to guide growth and development. This configuration of values, goals, power and authority may also lead to concrete drivers of risk at any one time. Building on previous disaster risk frameworks and experiences from practice, since 2010, the ‘Forensic Investigations of Disasters (FORIN)’ approach has been developed to support transdisciplinary research on the transformational pathways societies may follow to recognise and address root causes and drivers of disaster risk. This article explores and assesses the achievements and failures of the FORIN approach. It also focuses on shedding light upon key requirements for new approaches and understandings of disaster risk research. The new requirements stem not only from the uncompleted ambitions of FORIN and the forensic approach but also from dramatic and ongoing transformational changes characterised by climate change, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and the threat of global international confrontation, among other potential crises, both those that can be identified and those not yet identified or unknown.

Contribution: Disasters associated with extreme natural events cannot be treated in isolation. A comprehensive “all risks” or “all disasters” approach is essential for a global transformation, which could lead to a better world order. To achieve this, an Intergovernmental Panel for Disaster Risk is suggested to assess risk science periodically and work towards sustainability, human rights, and accountability, within a development and human security frame and on a systemic basis and integrated perspective.


Keywords

root causes; risk drivers; forensic investigations of disasters; FORIN; social construction of risk; disaster risk creation and construction; transformational change; existential threats; new world order.

Metrics

Total abstract views: 1217
Total article views: 1637

 

Crossref Citations

1. Forensic investigations of disasters: Past achievements and new directions
Irasema Alcántara-Ayala, Ian Burton, Allan Lavell, Anthony Oliver-Smith, Alonso Brenes, Thea Dickinson
Jàmbá Journal of Disaster Risk Studies  vol: 15  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/jamba.v15i1.1490