Hurricane-riskscapes and governmentality


  • Johannes Theodor Bohle



Caribbean, risk, governmentality, hurricanes, political geography, riskscapes


In the Caribbean, starting with meteorological observation technologies and the transfer of the meteorological observation of the physical phenomenon hurricane into a societal, economic, and spatial risk, a mosaic of problematizations, rationalities, and practices aimed at ordering and governing space and population unfolds. Based on empirical material gathered to analyze the government of hurricanes in the Caribbean, this paper discusses possibilities to combine riskscapes and governmentality. The thesis of the paper is that, on its analytical level, the concept of riskscapes does not sufficiently address issues and effects of power relations. The paper addresses this gap by including Foucault’s reflections on governmentality. For this purpose, the paper presents two theoretical chapters, one on the concept of riskscapes and one on Foucault’s conceptualization of governmentality. These are followed by an empirical chapter in which the complex of problematization of hurricanes as risk, as well as resulting spatial effects, are highlighted. Moreover, it is shown how the analytical categories of the governmentality perspective can be applied to an investigation of riskscapes. Hereby, it is shown that riskscapes are the result of power relations.




How to Cite

Bohle, J. T. (2018). Hurricane-riskscapes and governmentality. ERDKUNDE, 72(2), 125–134.