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The Politics of Local Disaster Management in Thailand, A Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis of Earthquake Governance in the Upper Northern Region

Supajakwattana, Watcharapol (2022) The Politics of Local Disaster Management in Thailand, A Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis of Earthquake Governance in the Upper Northern Region. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Although disaster management has become an effective approach through which the security of society can be secured, it has produced failure and conflict in some circumstances. The academic approach given to this phenomena has often been criticised, namely in relation to how attention is given predominantly to technical and positivist means and thus how social and political dimensions are not adequately considered. Importantly, these neglected factors play a crucial role in determining the success and/or failure of disaster management. Drawing upon Poststructuralist Discourse Theory, this thesis develops a new conceptual framework to critically explain the politics of disaster management, thus revealing the issues that are embedded in the construction of, and political practices involved in responding to, disaster management. It further analyses the politics of disaster management surrounding the 2014 Chiang Rai Earthquake of Thailand. At the national level, the thesis characterises disaster management via four key logics - security, bureaucracy, managerialism and hybridity - showing how their merging in a hybrid form has caused failure/conflict. The discourses that surfaced in this context are demonstrated to have manifested a political space in which local residents used logics of the community to politicise issues and to challenge the state. Conversely, logics of uncertainty and professionalisation were used as de/re-politicisation mechanisms by provincial agencies to regain authority. This thesis considers such disaster management as contested political terrain where political strategies were implemented through anti- and pro-central disaster management projects. The thesis contributes to Disaster Management Studies in three ways – by offering an alternative means of conducting research as to disaster management politics, exemplifying the benefits of applying a logics approach in explaining the political practices involved in disaster management and calling for further analysis to be given as to the role of subjective desires and the affective register in this field.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical disaster management critical policy analysis poststructuralist discourse analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Watcharapol Supajakwattana
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2022 14:18
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2022 14:18
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/32572

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