The mechanism of disaster capitalism and the failure to build community resilience: learning from the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy

Angelo Jonas Imperiale*, Frank Vanclay

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

Onderzoeksoutput: ArticleAcademicpeer review

18 Citaten (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


This paper reflects on what materialised during recovery operations following the earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy, on 6 April 2009. Previous critiques have focused on the actions of the Government of Italy and the Department of Civil Protection (Protezione Civile), with little attention paid to the role of local authorities. This analysis sheds light on how the latter used emergency powers, the command-and-control approach, and top-down planning to manage the disaster context, especially in terms of removal of rubble, implementing safety measures, and allocating temporary accommodation. It discusses how these arrangements constituted the mechanism via which ‘disaster capitalism’ took hold at the local and national level, and how it violated human rights, produced environmental and social impacts, hindered local communities from learning, transforming, and building resilience, and facilitated disaster capitalism and corruption. To make the disaster risk reduction and resilience paradigm more effective, a shift from centralised civil protection to decentralised, inclusive community empowerment systems is needed.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)555-576
Aantal pagina's22
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
Vroegere onlinedatum25-jan.-2020
StatusPublished - jul.-2021

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