Successful PhD defence by Samantha Melis

Dr Samantha Melis
Dr Samantha Malis

On 17 December 2020, Samantha Melis, successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled 'Constructing Disaster Response Governance in Post-Conflict Settings: Contention, Collaboration and Compromise'.

She investigated what happens after a disaster unfolds in a post-conflict environment and constructs a post-conflict ‘scenario’ of disaster response.

She focused on three case studies, Nepal, Sierra Leone and Haiti, considering the hybrid nature of post-conflict governance that is in institutional flux and (internally) contested. She considered how aid, state and societal actors socially negotiate the governance of disaster response in a post-conflict scenario.

Based on the analysis of the case studies constructs a post-conflict scenario of disaster in which the convergence of different forms of governance produces three main points of tension:

  1. an imbalance between statebuilding and humanitarian action;
  2. a misunderstanding of state hybridity and the multilocal;
  3. a limited space for societal actors to take part in disaster governance structures. 

The full thesis will be available from the ISS Library

Photos and recording of the defence

Photographs taken during the defence.