Lynne Rienner Publishers Logo

Dual Disasters: Humanitarian Aid After the 2004 Tsunami

Jennifer Hyndman
Dual Disasters: Humanitarian Aid After the 2004 Tsunami
ISBN: 978-1-56549-336-0
ISBN: 978-1-56549-335-3
2011/171 pages/LC: 2010043185
A Kumarian Press Book

"Hyndman's book powerfully shows the need to view disaster responses in relation to the historical and geographic contexts in which they occur."—Léonie Newhouse, Society and Space

"This book serves as a call for a more nuanced analysis of disasters, particularly those that fit within the concept of dual disasters"—Namalie Jayasinghe, Oxford Journal of Refugee Studies

"Hyndman's analysis does not fall into the trap of clichés and easy answers on a subject that is widely debated both in scholarship and media. It is a multifaceted view from below. It should be especially useful for scholars, policymakers and professionals interested in the politics of foreign aid in general and humanitarian aid in particular."—Sunil Bastian, International Centre for Ethnic Studies

"Hyndman skillfully draws together an array of fascinating and disturbing material to reveal the double-edged character of dual disasters—which bring both misery and opportunity. This wide-ranging volume interrogates the now-common aid refrain ‘building back better' to ask the crucial question 'build what back better?'"—Nicholas Van Hear, University of Oxford


What happens when a humanitarian crisis with political roots interacts with a humanitarian crisis induced by environmental disaster? That is the question at the core of Dual Disasters.

Focusing on Sri Lanka and Indonesia, countries that were dealing with complex upheavals long before the 2004 tsunami struck, Jennifer Hyndman shows how the storm shifted the goals of international aid, altered relations among and within states, and accelerated or slowed peacebuilding efforts. Hyndman deftly guides readers through the multifaceted forces at work in the aftermath of modern humanitarian disasters.


Jennifer Hyndman is professor in the Departments of Social Sciences and Geography and associate director of the Centre for Refugee Studies at York University. Her publications include Managing Displacement: Refugees and the Politics of Humanitarianism.


  • Introducing Dual Disasters.
  • Siting Conflict and Peace in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka and Aceh, Indonesia.
  • Threats, Fears, and Aid in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka.
  • Transforming Widowhood: Conflict and Loss in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka.
  • Acts of Aid: Humanitarianism Meets Neoliberalism in a War Zone.
  • Two Solitudes: Post-Tsunami and Post-Conflict Aceh—with Arno Waizenegger.
  • Conclusion.