Call for paper abstracts for a proposed session at the 2019 Royal Geographical Society
(with IBG) Annual Conference. The conference will take place at the Society in London and at Imperial College London from Tuesday 27 to Friday 30 August 2019.
When Disaster Strikes: Insurance, Coping Capacity
and Climate Change
Dr Christine Eriksen (University of Wollongong, Australia) and A/Prof Shaun French (University of Nottingham, UK)
With the increasing financial and social costs of climate exacerbated disasters, there is a significant need for accounts of insurance beyond the lens of finance and risk. Emerging research
is leading to ‘everyday’ understandings of insurance as affective, emotive, political, moral, situated and socio-material. Re-thinking insurance has significant implications when considering its role and function in the management and governance of the everyday
impacts of disasters. Insurance is frequently understood as a ‘benign tool’, the disaster management technique of choice, and its purchase presumed to be premised on individual, rational decision-making. Yet the individualisation and responsibilisation of
risk by neoliberal-inclined governments is promulgating new and novel insurantial modes. ‘Non-insurance’ and ‘under-insurance’ are becoming more pronounced, and the likelihood of community backlash when insurers don’t come through as promised appears to be
Thinking about climate exacerbated disasters, how does re-thinking insurance and its geographies influence how and why we might research this key safety net? How can it help us consider the
role and function of insurance in disaster events and everyday life?
With these questions in mind, we invite papers that:
- Describe and evidence insurance stories and research in relation to climate exacerbated disaster events;
- Discuss possible perverse outcomes of insurance for human and nonhuman others;
- Consider insurance in the context of individualisation, responsibilisation and/or everyday financialisation;
- Advance the theorisation of insurance with reference to disasters;
- Consider insurance as a mode of everyday governmentality;
- Reflect on the role of insurance in the domestication of climate exacerbated disasters.
This session is supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery Programme (DP170100096).