“For some, Haiti is the “poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere,” a “failed state,” long on the brink of collapse. For others, Haiti is a beacon of freedom, evidence of the only successful slave revolt in modern history. This forum brings together scholars from different fields of study, and different parts of the world, for a conversation about ways to think about challenges that Haiti has faced since independence, challenges that have been international in scope since this sovereign nation’s sudden and unexpected debut on the world’s stage. Thus besides considering Haiti’s vexed political history and pressing social problems, we are concerned with the way prevailing forms of diplomatic recognition and patterns of international exchange have served to worsen, rather than improve, social institutions and their capacity to serve the people of Haiti.
The title of this forum — Ayiti kraze — stems from a Kreyol expression that often surfaces in moments when political institutions splinter apart (as when Jean-Bertrand Arisitide was ousted in 1991 during a coup d’état). But, the idea of Haiti in fragments also suits this effort to piece together critical insights concerning this tragic predicament. The catastrophic events of January 12, 2010 have already transformed the way many researchers relate to their work. Scholars who typically take years to develop articles and books have organized symposia and published essays in a matter of days – this forum is but one example. We hope this critical practice will endure long after Haiti is re-built. — Michael Ralph, editor”
“Haiti is an alarming reminder that natural disasters have more devastating consequences where physical infrastructure is weak, where institutions are problematic, and where there is a lot of poverty. So trying to foster development is also a response to disaster. How humanitarian assistance is administered may make it more or less conducive to longer term development, may make a transition from one set of actors (emergency responders) to another (development aid agencies) go more smoothly, may lead to better preparedness for the next time.
The SSRC has asked people we believe are deeply reflective about the situation in Haiti to share their thoughts about the present moment and its relationship to humanitarian assistance and transitions to development. This collection of postings is the result of that effort.”
Find it here: Haiti, Now and Next — Social Science Research Council.
Table of Contents:
- Introduction: When Is Disaster Intolerable?
- by Craig Calhoun
- Beyond the Earthquake: A Wake-Up Call for Haiti
- by Alex Dupuy
- Country, City, Service
- by Ferentz Lafargue
- Cracks of Gender Inequality: Haitian Women After the Earthquake
- By Régine Michelle Jean-Charles
- Haiti Update
- by William O’Neill
- Haiti and the International System: The Need for New Organizational Lending Formats
- by Saskia Sassen
- Haiti: Can Catastrophe Spur Progress?
- by William O’Neill
- Mobilize the Diaspora for the Reconstruction of Haiti
- by Dilip Ratha
- Hope Admist Devastation: Towards a New Haitian State
- by Robert Fatton Jr.
- Haiti’s Earthquake and the Politics of Distribution
- by Andrew Apter
- Moving Beyond Disaster to Build a Durable Future in Haiti
- by Greg Beckett
- Haiti and the Unseen World
- By Elizabeth McAlister
- Rebuilding Haiti: The Next Two Hundred Years
- by J. Michael Dash
- Reckoning in Haiti
- by Jean Casimir and Laurent Dubois
- Run From the Earthquake, Fall Into the Abyss: A Léogane Paradox
- by Karen Richman
- Rebuilding Haiti, Rebuilding the Fragile State Framework
- By Yasmine Shamsie