Behind the Scenes of 'Natural Disaster'. An interview with Sandrine Revet

In her book, Les coulisses du monde des catastrophes « naturelles », (Maison des sciences de l’Homme, September 2018), Sandrine Revet studies what occurs behind de scenes of “natural” disasters and more precisely behind the scenes of the social world of “natural” disasters. The anthropologist offers an ethnography of the world of professionals working on “natural” disasters. Sandrine Revet presents her approach and her research background.

Can you explain to us why you use quotation marks for the adjective "natural," when you refer to this type of disaster?

These quotation marks reflect a change in the way so-called “natural” disasters are considered. For a long time, the latter were analysed by focusing on the phenomenon that caused them. This is because the earth and climate sciences have long dominated the study of these events. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions or heat waves constitute natural phenomena indeed, but since the 1970s, and even more strikingly since the 1990s, the social sciences have sought to show the importance of the social, political, economic and historical factors that increase the vulnerability of societies struck by such phenomena...


Islamic Networks between South Asia and the Gulf


Over the last fifty years, pan-Islamic ties have intensified between South Asia and the Gulf. Gathering together some of the best specialists on the subject, Laurence Louër and Christophe Jaffrelot explore these ideological, educational and spiritual networks in a book entitled Pan Islamic Connections. Transnational Networks between South Asia and the Gulf (Hurst & Co, December 2017).