Responding Without Militarizing oral presentation

Responding to Disaster Without (Further) Militarizing It
Session 4250: "Impact of war and conflict on women, children, veterans and communities"
143rd American Public Health Association annual meeting & expo, Chicago, Nov 2015.
© 2015 A.G. Keller, CC BY-SA.

Outline & Slides

This is an outline of the presentation. Page numbers refer to slides.
Watch or listen to streamed presentation at APHA site.

1 What disaster relief does 4
1.1 Disaster relief redistributes resources & power
2 The concept of militarism 5
2.1 Claims territory
2.2 Builds perimeter; prepares to hold territory via coercion
2.3 Concentrates power/resources up command chain
3 Militarism in action after Hurricane Sandy 6
3.1 Lens: Ethnography of Peoples' Medical Relief
3.2 PMR's basic practices
3.3 Three exemplars of militarism
4 Militarism concept as framework for program evaluation 11
4.1 Does a given disaster relief effort
4.1(a) Consolidate or deconcentrate resources?
4.1(b) Consolidate or distribute power to decide?
4.1(c) Suspend or build democratic constitutional law?
4.2 What hallmarks of DEmilitarization could be used in program evaluation?

You might also like to download slides (womil-2015nov-web.pdf, 0.7 MB), read the presentation proposal, or read internal and public documents from People's Medical Relief's work after Sandy that I archived at the Medic Stories wiki.


  • Agamben 2005, State of Exception
  • Arendt 2005, The Promise of Politics
  • Ambinder & Jennings 2013, The Resilient Social Network. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate
  • Lutz 2007, "Militarization." Nugent & Vincent, eds, A Companion to the Anthropology of Politics, 318-331
  • Lutz 2002, Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century
  • Wiist et al. 2014 Jun, "The Role of Public Health in the Prevention of War." AJPH 104(6):e34-e47


Thanks to Hesperian Health Guides for allowing me to use illustrations from Werner & Bower's 1981 book Helping Health Workers Learn in my slideshow.

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