Collection launched: 24 Jan 2017
This special issue focuses on the phenomena of disasters and crises, and how such extraordinary and disruptive events can be understood from the perspective of social anthropology. Critical events are not unique to Latin America, yet the impact of hydro-meteorological and geological disasters have dramatically increased in the region in the last century. Many Latin American countries also have historical and recent experience of profound social, political and economic crises. These are complex challenges for societies to manage, mitigate and reduce, which is why social science has a major contribution to make in understanding both the causes and the effects, and forward sustainable solutions. This special issue presents four articles based on empirical cases from Latin America, with an emphasis on Argentina and Brazil, which demonstrate the anthropological contribution to the understanding of critical events. The authors make no claim to provide a complete view of the anthropology of disasters and crises in Latin America, but rather to account for a growing research field in the region, which is already making important contributions to multidisciplinary studies of critical events, and to the policy development of disaster risk reduction and crisis management.