The Making of a Disaster: Conflict Intractability and Governance Contradictions in Kashmir

  • Saima FarhadEmail author
Part of the Disaster Studies and Management book series (DSDM)


Mass uprisings in Kashmir since the year 2008, followed by an upsurge in local militancy since 2016, indicate key turns in the conflict. The paper observes that, primarily, these protests were rooted in governance failures and relates their intensification into mass uprisings to unmeasured state response. The governance failures can be linked to the unresolved political issues, and the state response to protests can be associated with its operation in militarisation, which has further fed into increasing support for local militancy. These linkages point to the persistence of an intractable conflict in Kashmir and in its experience as a disaster by the people living there. Against this backdrop, the paper is critical of attempts to proclaim peace in the region. Is Kashmir, then, illustrative of a society in crises? Or is it the new normalcy? The paper describes such normalcy as one which is prone to political and governance failures and the resulting breakdowns into crises. It is only when these regions experience the so-called natural hazards like earthquakes or floods that those involved in governance label it as ‘complex emergencies’ and bring in the idea of relief and humanitarian outreach. However, this outreach does not function outside the political realities of its context. The paper argues that in such contexts, it is the conflict intractability which emerges as the greater disaster. In such a complex context, the probability of a return to large-scale armed violence cannot be ruled out.



This is a note to acknowledge Prof Janki Andharia, Professor, Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Mnagement at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. The author is grateful for her guidance, continued engagement and feedback on the paper. It is only through her comments, suggestions, meticulous editing and attention to detail that the paper has taken up its present shape.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KashmirSrinagarIndia

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