Studies on disasters can only be inclusive if scholars and practitioners “decolonize” themselves
Research & Innovation | July 18, 2023
The discussions on the decolonization of knowledge in disasters are not entirely new and have been the subject of inquiries of many scientific studies, books, and other academic publications. Initially, decolonization of knowledge is about opposing the Western hegemony of knowledge and its production. But such effort is questionable in terms of relevance to the advancement of science and not pragmatic if no (better) alternatives are proposed. Decolonization of knowledge has turned to construction and deconstruction of knowledge without cultural prejudices. Knowledge production is no longer confined within the hegemonic Western science, and decolonization moves forward to recognize and legitimize all other epistemologies, methodologies or approaches including those previously marginalized local, traditional, or indigenous knowledges or knowledge systems. In that sense, any form of hegemony of knowledge (e.g., Western hegemony and university-based science) is a hindrance to the development of any field of study such as the disaster studies and DRR. Decolonization in disasters has a broader objective that goes beyond criticism of Western hegemony of knowledge, or indigenization of it. The essence of “decolonization” is to discredit hegemony of knowledge at all times which also means always advocating for more inclusive production and sharing of knowledge in disaster studies and DRR, and fairer relation between scholars regardless of their ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic conditions.
Read the full paper: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/disa.12550