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Building Back Better: Participatory Governance In A Post-Haiyan World

Investigator(s):

Nicole Curato and April Porteria

Building Back Better: Participatory Governance In A Post-Haiyan World

Funding through Discovery Early Career Research Award (DE150101866) ($324,557)

The project Team includes Nicole Curato (Chief Investigator) and April Porteria (Research Assistant)


Project Description


'Building back better' has become a global mantra for countries recovering from disasters. This project aims to examine how this principle can be extended from rebuilding disaster-resilient physical infrastructure to rehabilitating institutions of participatory governance to ensure the inclusive and empowering character of recovery efforts.

Through a multi-sited ethnography in cities worst hit by the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, a theoretically-informed and empirically-grounded analytical toolkit that gauges the democratic quality of post-disaster reconstruction will be developed. The project aims to generate insights into the precise ways in which participatory governance can also be 'built better' in a post-Haiyan world.


Project Outputs


  1. Curato, Nicole (in press) Democracy in a Time of Misery: From Spectacular Tragedies to Deliberative Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  2. Curato, Nicole (2016) Politics of Anxiety, Politics of Hope: Penal Populism and Duterte’s Rise to Power. Journal of Contemporary Southeast Asian Affairs 35(3): 91-109.

  3. Curato, N. (2017) Flirting with Authoritarian Fantasies? Rodrigo Duterte and the New Terms of Philippine Populism. Journal of Contemporary Asia 47(1): 142-153.

  4. Webb, Adele and Curato, Nicole (2018) ‘Populism in the Philippines’ in Populism Around the World, D. Stockemer (ed). Berlin: Springer. pp. 49-65.

  5. Curato, Nicole and Ong, Jonathan C. (2018) ‘Who laughs at a rape joke? Crass politics and ethical responsiveness in Rodrigo Duterte’s Philippines,’ in Ethical Responsiveness and the Politics of Difference, T. Dreher and A. Mondal (eds.) New York: Palgrave. pp. 117-132.

  6. Curato, Nicole, Ong, Jonathan C. and Longboan, Liezel (2016) ‘Protest as Interruption of the Disaster Imaginary: Overcoming Voice-Denying Rationalities in Post-Haiyan Philippines,’ in Taking the Square: Mediated Dissent and Occupations of Public Space, M. Rovisco and J. Ong (eds.) London: Rowman and Littlefield.

  7. Curato, Nicole and Calamba, Septrin (online first) ‘Surviving disasters by suppressing political storms: Participation as knowledge-transfer in community-based disaster governance.’ Critical Sociology.

  8. Curato, Nicole (2018) From Authoritarian Enclaves to Deliberative Utopia? Governance logics in post-disaster reconstruction. Disasters 42(4): 635-654.

  9. Curato, Nicole (2018) Beyond the Spectacle: Slow-Moving Disasters in post-Haiyan Philippines.’ Critical Asian Studies 50(1): 58-66. (Special Issue Editor)

  10. Curato, Nicole (2017) We haven’t even buried the dead yet: The ethics of discursive contestation in a crisis situation. Current Sociology 65(7): 1010-1030.


Public Engagement (select list)


  1. In the Philippines, All the President’s People, Commissioned piece for The New York Times

  2. The Power and Limits of Populism in the Philippines, Commissioned piece for Current History

  3. The Philippines Beyond the Dark Spell, Commissioned piece for AsiaGlobal Online

  4. The presidency in the age of misery, Rappler.com

  5. Social injustice in the age of Instagram, Rappler.com

  6. The Mayors of Tacloban, short film co-produced with Patricia Evangelista for Rappler.com