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SLST Speaker Series – Disaster and Development in the International Legal Imagination

Professor Saptarishi Bandopadhyay, Osgoode Hall Law School


S 701 Ross (light refreshments will be served)

Monday, March 13, 2023 from 2:30 – 4 pm



Disaster risk, we are told, is an unresolved problem of development. Economic development, in turn, described as “sustainable development” or “adaptive growth,” is key to mitigating disaster risk because it lowers social vulnerability and shores up resilience. In brief: disasters thwart development, and development is crucial for disaster preparedness and recovery. At the same time, there is substantial evidence that international development has long reflected the strategic, political, and economic priorities of western states. Critics have shown that development projects shaped by these agendas and have caused enormous social, economic, and environmental upheaval in the Global South. Nevertheless, the relationship between economic development and disaster management has only deepened in recent years. In this paper I critically reflect on the historical relationship between disaster and development and examine how this relationship has structured global efforts to imagine law and policy solutions to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the present.



Saptarishi Bandopadhyay is an assistant professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. His first book, All Is Well: Catastrophe and the Making of the Normal State was published by Oxford University Press in 2022. His work has appeared in encyclopedias, edited volumes, and in legal and interdisciplinary journals such as the University of British Columbia Law Review, the Fordham Environmental Law ReviewGlobal Jurist, the Indian Journal of International Law, and the Journal of Intellectual Property Rights. He has studied and worked in disaster management in central India, in the borderlands between India, Pakistan, and China, and in the Philippines. He has trained and advised officials and civil society in India, Thailand, Canada, and at the United Nations, and he has published widely on disaster risk, international law, and related areas.

This Socio-Legal Speaker Series event will be held at:

S 701 Ross

You can also attend remotely via Zoom:

We hope you can join us!




Mar 13 2023


2:30 pm - 4:00 pm

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