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Mountains, Marginality and Disasters

Call for papers

Edited by J-C. Gaillard (University of Auckland, New Zealand) and Ilan Kelman (CICERO, Norway).

Rationale and objectives

Disasters are frequently worst in marginalized regions of the world since vulnerability is the root cause of disasters and vulnerability, by definition, often includes aspects of marginalisation. Among these are mountainous areas as exemplified in the cases of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, the 1999 flash floods in Venezuela, and volcano eruptions which often emerge from mountain ranges such as in Colombia, DRC, and the Philippines. Yet there seems that, to date, no journal has dedicated a special issue addressing the three cognate themes of mountains, marginality and disasters.

The present volume aims to fill this gap. It will provide both a theoretical and empirical overview of the causes and consequences of disasters in marginalized mountainous regions. It shall enhance our understanding of environmental, cultural, social, livelihood/economic and political factors particular to mountainous areas which increase the vulnerability of local communities to natural hazards. The volume shall also emphasize resources and capacities of mountain people and their intrinsic ability to face potential threats in their environment. This special issue also envisions to provide examples of bad and good practices for disaster risk reduction illustrated by mountain contexts, along with challenges and ways forward.

Case studies will focus on regions of the world usually absent in the literature and therefore avoid countries like Colombia, Peru, Kenya, Nepal and India.

Each article will be authored by a pair of researchers: a young researcher (from the South when relevant) and a senior scholar.

The journal

The Revue de Géographie Alpine / Journal of Alpine Research ( is one of the two leading scientific journals dealing with mountainous environment. It is an ISI-indexed journal founded in 1913 which publishes articles in both French and English – all papers are actually translated and appear in both languages. It is freely accessible on the web in both html and pdf format, thus guarantying a large and easy distribution of the articles, including in the global south.

Format of the articles

Manuscripts should not exceed 4000 words inclusive of the list of references, abstract, and illustrations. Guidelines for authors are enclosed.

Calendar of activities

Submission of manuscripts: 31 May 2011

Deadline for reviewers reports: 31 July 2011

Submission of revised manuscripts: 30 September 2011

Submission of the final set of manuscripts to the RGA editorial board: 30 November 2011

Publication: February 2012