UPCOMING PUBLIC SEMINAR: "The Politics of the 2011 Bangkok Floods" by Dr. Danny Marks [4 May 2017]


10:00-12:00, Alumni Meeting Room, 12th Floor, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Co-organized by Center for Social Development Studies (CSDS) and the Faculty of Political Science of Chulalongkorn University, the Stockholm Environment Institute Asia Center, and Urban Climate Resilience Partnership in Southeast Asia (UCRSEA) at the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

In 2011, Thailand suffered one of the worst floods in living memory as two tropical storms followed by extended monsoon rains dumped huge amounts of water on the country. The floods were ranked the fourth‐costliest disaster ever globally and caused over 800 deaths and millions of baht in damage to public and private infrastructure and ecosystems including rivers, rice fields, orchards and farmlands.

But were the floods purely a result of torrential rains? Or was the disaster a product of other causes related to political decisions, economic interests, and power relations?

Using a case study of Bangkok in the 2011 floods, Danny Marks shows that vulnerability to the floods in Bangkok were a combination of exposure to floods and capacity to cope with them. Although heavy rainfall in 2011 inundated the Chao Phraya River Basin in central Thailand, a number of human activities interacted to multiply the impacts of the floods. The impacts were not always evenly felt or distributed at local to national scales or across geographical and social landscapes. The talk explores how state actors together with unequal socioeconomic processes caused vulnerability to be unevenly distributed before, during, and after the floods. 

Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and International Development Research Center (IDRC).