Constructing Reconstruction, Territorializing Risk

Imposing "No-Build Zones" in Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Tacloban City, Philippines

Author: Dakila Kim P. Yee


Analysis of post-disaster reconstruction of urban areas has largely been understood as a function of technocratic and institutionalist paradigms, while critical perspectives have been largely influenced by the analysis of "disaster capitalism." Common to these paradigms is little analysis of state attempts to deploy power over a population through controlling space in urban areas. This paper examines the strategies of internal territorialization that undertaken by the Philippines state in post-Haiyan reconstruction polices. Drawing on Tacloban City, I show how bourgeois environmentalist and urban ecological security approaches exclude the urban poor from undertaking reconstruction in the coastal communities. Discourses of cleanliness and securing the population of the city have accompanied material practices that enforce state territorialization in the city. These processes of state territorialization exclude those residing in risk prone zones from various forms of aid and relief. This paper concludes by highlighting processes of territorialization that have generated conflict in the city, as urban poor engage in forms of counter-territorialization to assert their space in the city. 

Countries: Philippines

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© Jeff Kingston