Pub. Date:
University of Massachusetts Press
Catastrophe: Law, Politics, and the Humanitarian Impulse

Catastrophe: Law, Politics, and the Humanitarian Impulse

by Austin Sarat, Javier LezaunAustin Sarat


Current price is , Original price is $28.95. You

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Please check back later for updated availability.


From 9/11 to Katrina, from Darfur to the Minnesota bridge collapse, ours is an "age of catastrophe." In this era, catastrophic events seem to have a revelatory quality: they offer powerful reminders of the fragility of our social and institutional architectures, making painfully evident vulnerabilities in our social organization that were otherwise invisible. By disrupting the operation of fundamental mechanisms and infrastructures of the social order, they lay bare the conditions that make our sense of normalcy possible. At a time when societies are directing an unprecedented level of resources and ingenuity to anticipating and mitigating catastrophic events, Catastrophe: Law, Politics, and the Humanitarian Impulse examines the tests that catastrophe poses to politics and humanitarianism as well as to the law. It explores legal, political, and humanitarian responses during times when the sudden, discontinuous, and disastrous event has become, perhaps paradoxically, a structural component of our political imagination. It asks whether law, politics, and humanitarianism live up to the tests posed by disaster, and the role all of them play in creating a more resilient world.Taken together the essays in this book ask us to see through and beyond the myths that surround catastrophe and our responses to it. They ask us to rethink our understanding of catastrophe and to imagine new legal, political, and humanitarian responses.In addition to the editors, contributors include Thomas Birkland, Michele Landis Dauber, Kim Fortun, Edward Rackley, Peter Redfield, Peter H. Schuck, and Susan Sterett.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781558497382
Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date: 12/04/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Austin Sarat is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science at Amherst College. Javier Lezaun is University Lecturer in Science and Technology Governance, Oxford University.

What People are Saying About This

Jonathan Simon

One of the strongest edited collections I have read for some time. It provides a wide array of very different methodological and theoretical tool kits for exploring the multiple relationships between catastrophe, politics, and law while offering several layers of framework within which these different approaches can be brought into dialogue.

Customer Reviews