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