Katja Samuel, Marie Aronsson-Storrier and Kirsten Nakjavani Bookmiller (eds.) , The Cambridge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2019).


The number, intensity, and impact of diverse forms of ‘natural’ and ‘human-made’ disasters are increasing. In response, the international community has shifted its primary focus away from disaster response to prevention and improved preparedness. The current globally agreed upon roadmap is the ambitious Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030, central to which is the better understanding of disaster risk management and mitigation. Sendai also urges innovative implementation, especially multi-sectoral and multi-hazard coherence. Yet the law sector itself remains relatively under-developed, including a paucity of supporting ‘DRR law’ scholarship and minimal cross-sectoral engagement. Commonly, this is attributable to limited understanding by other sectors about law’s dynamic potential as a tool of disaster risk mitigation, despite the availability of many risk-related norms across a broad spectrum of legal regimes. This unique, timely Handbook brings together global and multi-sector perspectives on one of the most pressing policy issues of our time.

About the Editors
Katja Samuel is the founding director of Global Security and Disaster Management Limited (GSDM), an innovative consultancy company specialising in the provision of legal and interdisciplinary expertise across the spectrum of security and disaster issues, including their growing inter-connectedness. Currently, she is on organising teams for the European Forum on Disaster Risk Reduction (2018), UN Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (2019), and a co-chair of the American Society of International Law’s Disaster Law Interest Group. An award-winning author and researcher, much of her current research focus is on how to better integrate law, as a dynamic tool of disaster risk mitigation, cross-sectorially, especially with science and technology.

Marie Aronsson-Storrier is a lecturer in Global Law and Disasters, and the Programme Director for the LLM/MSc Global Crisis, Conflict, and Disaster Management, at the University of Reading. She holds a Ph.D. in International Law (University of Melbourne, 2017) and a Master of Laws (University of Gothenburg, 2011). With award-winning publications in disaster prevention and management, and international law-making, Marie’s current research explores conceptual questions around the development of ‘international disaster law’, and how this emerging area of study relates to other areas of international law and governance, such as human rights, environmental law, climate change, and sustainable development.

Kirsten Nakjavani Bookmiller is a Professor of Government and Political Affairs and a faculty associate with the Center for Disaster Research and Education at Millersville University. She has extensively published on International Disaster Law and its implementation, and was a founding co-chair of the American Society of International Law’s Disaster Law Interest Group. Dr Nakjavani Bookmiller currently serves as a Senior Policy Advisor Volunteer to the American Red Cross’ (ARC) International Services Department and is project lead for the North American Humanitarian Response Initiative, convened by the ARC. She is also a founding member of the consulting firm Preparedness Global.