Are conflict situations such as the ethnic clashes in Yugoslavia or Rwanda, terrorist attacks and riots, the same kind of social crises as those generated by natural and technological happenings such as earthquakes and chemical explosions? In What is a Disaster?, social science disaster researchers from six different disciplines advance their views on what a disaster is. Clashes in conceptions are highlighted, through the book's unique juxtaposition of the authors separately advanced views. A reaction paper to each set of views is presented by an experienced disaster researcher; in turn, the original authors provide a response to what has been said about their views. What is a Disaster? sets out the huge conceptual differences that exist concerning what a disaster is, and presents important implications for both theory, study and practice.